Chiefs blow as SBW, Lowe ruled out
Wellington - Chiefs star Sonny Bill Williams will miss this weekend's blockbuster clash against Super Rugby leaders, the Hurricanes, due to a back strain, his team said on Friday.
The match-up between code-hopping Williams and All Blacks rival Ma'a Nonu was one of the most anticipated aspects of the fixture, which will see the Chiefs take aim at the Hurricanes' 10-point lead in the New Zealand conference.
But the Chiefs said Williams will have to sit out Saturday's match in Wellington after straining his back, while pivot James Lowe has also been sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Their absence is a major blow for two-time champions the Chiefs, who are up against an in-form Hurricanes outfit that has lost only one of 11 matches this season.
Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma'a
Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 James Marshall, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7
Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben
Franks, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reggie Goodes
Substitutes: 16 Dane
Coles, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Mark Abbott/Callum
Gibbins, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Chris Smylie, Otere Black, 22 Rey Lee-Lo
Tom Marshall, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown,
Heem, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7
Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Michael
Allardice, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu
16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Liam
Squire, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Marty McKenzie