Chiefs to face Cheetahs without stars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chiefs to face Cheetahs without stars

16/04/2009 03:08:25 PM Comments (0)

Waikato winger Tim Mikkelson will make his Super 14 rugby debut when the Chiefs return from a bye to face the Cheetahs in South Africa on Saturday.

New Zealand Sevens representative Mikkelson replaces livewire Lelia Masaga, who injured his ankle in the Chiefs last-start 36-29 defeat of the Lions in Hamilton two weeks ago.

The Chiefs are also still without their other dazzling winger Sitiveni Sivivatu through injury and have Dwayne Sweeney on that flank.

There are two other changes, both in the tight five. Lock Kevin O'Neill returns, along with prop James McGougan, who pushes Tim May from the tighthead to loosehead side and Sona Taumalolo to the reserve bench.

There had been an injury cloud hanging over All Blacks centre Richard Kahui but he has been cleared to start.

Coach Ian Foster believed his team were primed for their opening match of a three-day South African tour and their first ever visit to Kimberley.

"We've travelled well and are keen to get back on the park," Foster said.

"We are expecting a huge battle with a Cheetahs team that would have grown in confidence after their big win over the Sharks last weekend."

Chiefs: Mils Muliaina (capt), Tim Mikkelson, Richard Kahui, Callum Bruce, Dwayne Sweeney Stephen Donald, Brendon Leonard, Sione Lauaki, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Kevin O'Neill, Craig Clarke, James McGougan, Aled de Malmanche, Ben May. Reserves: Hika Elliot, Sona Taumalolo, Toby Lynn, Serge Lilo, Toby Morland, Mike Delany, Jackson Willison

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