Cruden returns for Chiefs
Cape Town - The Chiefs will take on the Crusaders in Suva, Fiji on Friday as they look to follow up last season's 23-13 victory at the same venue.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has named a formidable line-up to face the Crusaders for the first time this season. It features five changes to the starting XV that defeated the Reds 46-17 in New Plymouth in Round 11.
There’s just one change in the forwards with Nathan Harris making his first start of the year at hooker. 25-year-old Harris, who re-signed this week with the Chiefs until 2019, made a welcome return to Super Rugby two weeks ago following a long injury layoff.
There are four changes to the backs with co-captain Aaron Cruden returning to start at flyhalf. Anton Lienert-Brown, who also re-signed with the Chiefs this week, moves to inside centre from 13.
Sam McNicol is promoted from the bench to start in jersey 13 and Tim Nanai-Williams has fully recovered from a shoulder injury sustained against the Hurricanes in Round 3 to start on the right wing.
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Sam McNicol, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames
Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Shaun Stevenson
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richard Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele