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    McKenzie back from injury for Chiefs in Hamilton

    2020-03-11 14:46

    Exciting utility back Damian McKenzie has returned from injury to be named in the Chiefs' starting XV for Friday's Super Rugby derby with the Hurricanes.

    Versatile forward Mitchell Brown will be the only alterations to the powerful pack. Brown enters the line-up in jersey number five for Canadian international star Tyler Ardron, who was ruled out due to an infection.

    In the backs, McKenzie returns from injury to line up in the familiar 15 jersey. Waikato utility back Solomon Alaimalo shifts to the left wing for the injured Sean Wainui.

    All Black Atu Moli returns to the 23 named as cover alongside Taranaki hooker Bradley Slater, in the only changes in the replacements.

    Head coach Warren Gatland revealed the team want to continue to build on their performance in Wollongong, where they hammered the Waratahs 51-14.

    "Last week we started well and that provided us with a solid platform for the second half. Again, this week we will be challenged to do the same," he said.

    "Any New Zealand derby is going to be a tough battle, the Hurricanes will be hurting from their loss last weekend and will be hungry to rectify that.

    "We need to remain focused on being disciplined, utilise our opportunities and deliver a performance that our members and supporters can be proud of."

    Kick off on Saturday is 05:25 SA time.

    Teams:

    Chiefs

    15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 1 Aidan Ross

    Substitutes: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Reuben O'Neill, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Alex Nankivell

    Hurricanes

    15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (co-captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (co-captain), 1 Fraser Armstrong

    Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 10 April 2020
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 07:00
    Saturday, 11 April 2020
    • Blues v Hurricanes, 06:45
    • Reds v Rebels, 11:15
    • Sharks v Waratahs, 15:05
    • Bulls v Lions, 17:15
    Sunday, 12 April 2020
    • Brumbies v Jaguares, 08:05

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