Chiefs make six changes to face Cheetahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chiefs make six changes to face Cheetahs

21/04/2010 12:24:55 PM Comments (0)

The Chiefs have made six personnel changes to their starting side to face the Cheetahs on Friday night as they look to bounce back from a heavy Super 14 rugby defeat.

The changes include All Blacks Richard Kahui, who had been nursing a shoulder problem, and Brendon Leonard dropping to the reserves, with Jackson Willison coming in at centre and Junior Poluleuligaga at halfback.

Also moving to the change bench is former All Black Sione Lauaki, with his place at No.8 going to Colin Bourke.

Nathan White returns at tighthead prop for Ben Afeaki while winger Sitivenu Sivivatu comes back after recovering from a thigh strain and Callum Bruce is included at second five-eighth.

Bruce's selection is part of a reshuffle forced by the season-ending shoulder injury to utility Mike Delany, who had been operating at first five-eighth in recent weeks.

Delany's absence means Stephen Donald will move in one place and take over his usual No.10 jersey.

The Chiefs' 15-49 defeat to the Stormers last Friday left them 10th on the standings and without a victory from four attempts in Hamilton so far this season.

Coach Ian Foster on Wednesday said the Chiefs, who have been battling a lengthy injury list, were determined to bounce back strongly from losses in successive weeks to the Bulls and Stormers at Waikato Stadium.

"We have come off two very tough, physical games and now face our third South African team in a row," he said.

"We believe we are still a very good team, in spite of the horrendous injury list this season. We are absolutely determined to show our character on the park this Friday night."

The casualty ward also got a little less crowded this week with lock Kevin O'Neill and prop James McGougan having recovered from Achilles and back problems, respectively, to be named on the bench.

"It is great to welcome back Kevin, James and Siti back into the 22," Foster said.

"We've injected some freshness into the starting line up with Colin Bourke, Junior Poluleuligaga and Jackson Willison, which will give Sione, Brendon and Richard an opportunity to contribute off the bench this week."

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