Chiefs coach Ian Foster says his players are “determined to give it everything” this weekend when they take on the Sharks in round 14 of the Rebel Sport Super 14 in Durban.
The Chiefs’ official website reports that Foster today named his starting 22 containing a couple of brackets and some player changes – reflecting the injury woes sustained in the Chiefs camp over the past fortnight.
“This tour has been very frustrating from an injury perspective, with this week being particularly hard for our medical staff. However, the team is getting more settled as the week goes on and we are certainly looking forward to Saturday night’s match (5.10am Sunday morning NZ time).”
“With seven wins already in this competition we know we can perform at the top level but the amount of significant injuries has again been a concern. We take confidence from those past performances and are determined to give it everything this weekend.”
In the forwards Tom Willis returns as hooker supported by props Aled de Malmanche and Ben Castle. Meanwhile, Jono Gibbes gets a starting spot at lock this week pairing with Kevin O’Neill.
Number eight Sione Lauaki, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained last weekend against the Lions, is bracketed with loose forwards Hayden Hopgood and Faifili Levave.
In the backs, Brendon Leonard, who only arrived in South Africa earlier this week, returns to wear the number nine jersey and will combine with Stephen Donald at first five-eighth. Mils Muliaina will start at centre with Sosene Anesi at fullback. Sitiveni Sivivatu, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, is bracketed with Viliame Waqaseduadua.
The Chiefs team to play the Sharks on Sunday 18 May at Absa Stadium in Durban is:
1. Aled de Malmanche
2. Tom Willis
3. Ben Castle
4. Jono Gibbes
5. Kevin O’Neill
6. Liam Messam
7. Tanerau Latimer
8. Sione Lauaki/Hayden Hopgood/Faifili Levave
9. Brendon Leonard
10. Stephen Donald
11. Sitiveni Sivivatu/Viliame Waqaseduadua
12. Callum Bruce
13. Mils Muliaina (capt)
14. Lelia Masaga
15. Sosene Anesi
16. John Paeranga
17. Nathan White
18. Toby Lynn
19. Sione Lauaki/Hayden Hopgood/Faifili Levave
20. Jamie Nutbrown
21. Dwayne Sweeney
22. Viliame Waqaseduadua/Murray Williams