Anscombe given starting nod
Sydney - The Chiefs have kept their forward pack intact but rung the changes
in their midfield and outside backs for Saturday night's Super Rugby
According to the stuff.co.nz website, three personnel changes and one positional one have been made to
the backline that started against the Blues in the Chiefs' last outing
two weeks ago at Eden Park.
Andrew Horrell, who started at fullback against the Blues, will play
at second five-eighth in place of Bundee Aki who has been relegated to
the Chiefs' bench for the semifinal at Waikato Stadium against the
Charlie Ngatai will partner him in the midfield, starting at centre in place of the injured Tim Nanai-Williams.
Gareth Anscombe, who returned to the action from a broken foot via
the bench against the Blues, takes Horrell's place at fullback and the
man who started the other games in the No 15 jersey in Anscombe's
absence is replaced on the left wing by regular Asaeli Tikoirotuma.
Robinson joins Aki on the bench.
The fact the Chiefs have been able to name an unchanged starting
forward pack means 2.04 metre All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick made it
through training on his ankle injured against the Blues and passed fit
The front row has been kept the same, meaning Ben Tameifuna has
kept the starting tighthead propping position despite the return from a
back injury of All Black Ben Afeaki, who will be on the bench.
Also new onto the bench this week is young hooker Rhys Marshall, who
has had a diet of club rugby lately for Waikato premier club rugby
championship finalists Hamilton Marist.
But he won't be playing in the club final earlier on Saturday as he
replaces former Samoa World Cup captain Mahonri Schwalger as the
back-up rake to Hika Elliot.
Schwalger has been troubled all season by a knee injury, while Elliot has been carrying an ankle problem this week.
15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Andrew
Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera
Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant- Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hikawera Elliott, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 Rhys
Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Robbie Robinson
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain),
7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Luke Whitelock, 19 Richie McCaw,
20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Adam Whitelock