Aki wins Chiefs start
The Chiefs have announced their team to play New Zealand Conference rivals the Blues at Yarrow Stadium in Taranaki this Friday.
The Chiefs have made two changes to the forwards with prop Ben Tameifuna and lock Michael Fitzgerald starting. Bundee Aki comes in at inside centre and Tim Nanai-Williams moves to centre with Tom Marshall at full-back.
Josh Hohneck move to the reserves and is joined by Liam Squire who has returned from injury and Anton Lienert-Brown.
"It is exciting for us to play our first home game in Taranaki and I know the boys are keen to earn the respect of the locals by putting on a good performance," said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie.
"Traditionally our games against the Blues have been real ding-dong battles, and with not much between any team in the New Zealand Conference it is a massive game for both sides."
Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Tim Nanai-WIlliams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
Date: Friday, May 9
Venue: Yarrow Stadium, Taranaki
Kickoff: 19:35 (local, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)