The Chiefs show off their embarrassment of riches in the pivot position as they rest a world cup winning fly half and replace him with arguably the tournaments form player and future All Black Gareth Anscombe.
They have made several other changes as they ready themselves to take on the Western Force in Pukekohe this weekend.
– Gareth Anscombe to start at no.10
– Aaron Cruden takes a break on the bench.
– Ben Afeaki returns from injury to start in the front row.
– No.9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow starts fir the first time since breaking his jaw.
– Patrick Osborne starts on the wing.
– Asaeli Tikoirotuma take a well-earned break on the bench.
– Save Tokula starts at outside centre because the growing injury list.
“We are in the third mini leg of our season which is hugely important. We are well aware of the strength of this Force team. They have beaten the Reds and Crusaders and went close to the Hurricanes, which proves they can travel, so we need to be at our best,” said coach Rennie.
Fritz Lee, Richard Kahui, Tim Nani-WIlliams, Charlie Ngata and Andy Horrell were not considered due to injury.
The Chiefs host the Western Force on Friday, KO 19:35 NZ (08:35 CAT, 08.35 BST)
1.Toby Smith , 2.Hika Elliot , 3.Ben Afeaki , 4.Craig Clarke © , 5.Brodie Retallick , 6.Liam Messam , 7.Sam Cane , 8.Matt Vant Leven , 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10.Gareth Anscombe , 11.Patrick Osborne , 12.Bundee Aki , 13.Save Tokula , 14.Lelia Masaga , 15.Robbie Robinson
Replacements : 16.Mahonri Schwalger , 17.Ben Tameifuna , 18.Michael Fitzgerald , 19.Tanerau Latimer , 20.Augustine Pulu , 21.Aaron Cruden , 22.Asaeli Tikoirotuma