March 06, 2024

Sititi, Jacomb set to debut for Gallagher Chiefs

DHL Super Rugby Pacific debut looms for North Harbour loose forward Wallace Sititi and Taranaki first-five Josh Jacomb who are named in the Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Reds on Saturday.

Both players began their time with the Gallagher Chiefs as part of the wider training squad, Sititi in 2023 and Jacomb in 2024, but have now earned their promotion to the game day 23.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said: “We are delighted for Josh and Wallace who get their first run off the bench this weekend. They have earned their opportunity through hard work and diligence. Both are exciting talents and we can’t wait to see them in action.”

Joining the debutants is an experienced side with the front row rotated to include All Blacks, Aidan Ross and Samisoni Taukei’aho, alongside George Dyer. Simon Parker also moves into the starting lineup as openside flanker, as does Cortez Ratima at halfback and Daniel Rona in the midfield. Shaun Stevenson shifts to the wing and Josh Ioane starts at fullback for a new-look backline.

The dynamic locking duo of Tupou Vaa’i and Naitoa Ah Kuoi returns and the relentless Samipeni Finau at loose forward. Captain Luke Jacobson will continue his outstanding work in the No.8 jersey, as will Damian McKenzie at first five. Vice-captain Rameka Poihipi retains his spot in the midfield with the swift Etene Nanai-Seturo on the left wing.

“The Reds are a formidable opponent and have been impressive through the early rounds. They play an abrasive style and have the athletes to challenge through the middle of the park and through their tactical kicking game. We are under no illusion how tough this game will be and are preparing for a real dogfight,” said McMillan.

The Gallagher Chiefs will kick off against the Reds this Saturday at 9.35pm NZST. Watch live on Sky Sport.

Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Reds:
1. Aidan Ross
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho
3. George Dyer
4. Tupou Vaa’i
5. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
6. Samipeni Finau
7. Simon Parker
8. Luke Jacobson
9. Cortez Ratima
10. Damian McKenzie
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
12. Rameka Poihipi
13. Daniel Rona
14. Shaun Stevenson
15. Josh Ioane

16. Tyrone Thompson
17. Ollie Norris
18. Reuben O’Neill
19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit
20. Wallace Sititi*
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
22. Josh Jacomb*
23. Anton Lienert-Brown

Unavailable for selection: Quinn Tupaea, Kaleb Trask, Jared Proffit.

Sititi, Jacomb set to debut for Gallagher Chiefs