Kahui closer to comeback
Richard Kahui has the potential to make his long awaiting comeback albeit via the Chiefs bench in Friday's clash with the Highlanders.
The All Blacks utility back is bracketed with Patrick Osborne as coach Dave Rennie eases his star player back from shoulder surgery.
Elsewhere, Rennie has made several changes to his side.
Co-captain Craig Clarke will sit this match out as a precautionary measure after receiving a slight knock to the head last week and will be replaced by Michael Fitzgerald.
Nick Crosswell will start in the number eight jersey as Ross Filipo spends the next 8-10 weeks recovering from his MCL injury. Pauliasi Manu starts at prop while Ben Afeaki moves to the bench.
"We are expecting a similar battle to our first game against the Highlanders. It was physical and fast and this week will be nothing less," said Rennie.
"It will be a special game as we will be honouring Liam Messam for becoming the first person to have played 100 matches for the Chiefs. To acknowledge his impressive achievement in front of our home crowd will be a great occasion."
Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Nick Crosswell, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Paulisi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Romana Graham/Fritz Lee, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 August Pulu, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Richard Kahui/Patrick Osborne.
Date: Friday, 22 March
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19:35 (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)