Super Rugby: Chiefs Team Announced For Super Rugby Final
by Brendan Bradford –
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie hasn’t made any changes to the side that defeated the Crusaders last weekend ahead of the Super Final against the Brumbies at a sold out Waikato Stadium this Saturday.
There are injury concerns for winger Lelia Masaga after he left the field in some discomfort last weekend, but Rennie is optimistic the semi-final try scorer will start. Masaga – who still needs to get through the Chiefs’ final training session – has been bracketed alongside Robbie Robinson with Patrick Osborne slated to move to the bench if Masaga is unfit.
Brumbies openside legend George Smith will pack down opposite Tanerau Latimer with All Blacks tyro Sam Cane on the bench in preparation for a second half injection.
Listed at 134kg, tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna will start in the number three jersey with Ben Afeaki on the bench. Replacement hooker Rhys Marshall retains his spot on the bench with Mahonri Schwalger still battling a knee injury.
With Toby Smith, Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard, Masaga and captain Craig Clarke all heading off-shore at the end of the season, the Chiefs’ second consecutive home final promises to be an emotional occasion.
“They have all been a big part of the Chiefs family and we want to send these outstanding Chiefs men out on a high with back to back titles,” said Rennie.
“There has been an enormous amount of hard work to get us into this position and we are excited to be playing in front of the people who mean the most to us,” he continued.
Chiefs side for the Super Rugby final against the Brumbies this Saturday:
1. Toby Smith 2. Hika Elliot 3. Ben Tameifuna 4. Craig Clarke (c) 5. Brodie Retallick 6. Liam Messam 7. Tanerau Latimer 8. Matt Vant Leven 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow 10. Aaron Cruden 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma 12. Andrew Horrell 13. Charlie Ngatai 14. Lelia Masaga/Robbie Robinson 15. Gareth Anscombe.
Bench – 16. Rhys Marshall 17. Ben Afeaki 18. Michael Fitzgerald 19. Sam Cane 20. Augustine Pulu 21. Bundee Aki 22. Robbie Robinson/Patrick Osborne.