CHIEFS vs BRUMBIES, Saturday 5.05pm AEST in Hamilton
Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan has handed a start to club legend Liam Messam, who recently came out of retirement to answer an injury SOS in the loose forwards.
Messam, who came off the bench in the win over the Force, replaces Pita Gus Sowakula at blindside flanker.
Bailyn Sullivan comes in for Shaun Stevenson on the right wing while prop Atu Moli is on the bench after overcoming a wretched run of injuries.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Lachlan Lonergan will become the first set of brothers from Canberra to start for the Brumbies.
Hooker Lachlan’s promotion is the only change to the starting XV from the side that was pipped by the Crusaders in round one.
“It’s a great story to have the Lonergan brothers starting together for a Brumbies Super Rugby side in New Zealand,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.
“They’re both great young men who come from a great family who grew up supporting the Brumbies and now they get a chance to pull on the jersey together at the place they made their debuts. It’s really special.
“The side has had a good week of preparation and we’re certainly excited by the challenge of coming to Hamilton to get a positive result on Saturday night.”
CHIEFS (15-1): Chase Tiatia, Bailyn Sullivan, Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Jonah Lowe, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber (c), Luke Jacobson, Lachlan Boshier, Liam Messam, Tupou Vaa’i, Josh Lord, Sione Mafileo, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Aidan Ross
Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Atu Moli, Zane Kapeli, Pita Gus Sowakula, Xavier Roe, Rameka Poihipi, Kaleb Trask
BRUMBIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Len Ikitau, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Ryan Lonergan, Rob Valetini, Rory Scott, Henry Stowers, Nick Frost, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio
Reserves: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Tom Hooper, Tom Cusack, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)