Chiefs boosted by return of Canada international
Cape Town - The Chiefs have been given a huge boost with utility forward Tyler Ardron named in their starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Highlanders in Suva.
The Canada international, who had a spell on the sidelines due to concussion, returns to the run-on side at lock where he replaces All Blacks enforcer Brodie Retallick who is ruled out with a pectoral muscle injury.
Ardron will pack down alongside Michael Allardice in the second-row while loosehead prop Karl Tu’inukuafe starts in the front-row - with Liam Polwart (hooker) and Angus Ta’avao (tighthead prop) - after his cameos for the All Blacks in the June Test series with France.
Impressive youngster Luke Jacobson starts in the number six jersey after a highly effective game against the Crusaders, scoring two tries and putting in a dominant performance.
Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has been impressed with Jacobson’s displays and has seen his growth at Super Rugby level.
"Luke Jacobson has shown his growth at this level," he said.
"He’s very physical and wins most of the defensive stats. He can play 7,6 and lock and shows his versatility well.”
In the backline, Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie start in the number nine and ten jerseys, and Charlie Ngatai and Anton Lienert-Brown link up again in the midfield with Sean Wainui and Toni Pulu covering the wings.
15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Richard Buckman
15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitch Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson