The Hurricanes and Chiefs have both named their matchday sides for the exciting top of the Log derby between the 2 sides on Saturday.
On the Hurricanes side, the centre combination of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith will run out for their joint 50 game together as centre pairing and in addition prop Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen will run out for his 50th cap for the Hurricanes. On the Chiefs side, Sonny Bill Williams will have aspirations to counter and defeat the strong Canes midfield, in a bid to stake his All Blacks starting place for the World Cup and Hosea Gear is back on the right wing for the important clash. The Chiefs will also start with young Damian McKenzie at flyhalf.
The Chiefs have injected some All Black experience for the Round 2 match against the Brumbies on Friday.
All Blacks Liam Messam and Aaron Cruden come into the starting team, as does former international Hosea Gear.
Current New Zealand and World Rugby Player of the Year, Brodie Retallick, will make his 1st appearance of the season from the bench.
In total, Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made 6 changes to the starting side originally named to face the Blues last week.
Former All Blacks wing Hosea Gear is quitting northern hemisphere rugby and heading to the Chiefs in a bid to play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Gear, 30, has signed a one-year contract with the Chiefs to play in next year’s Super Rugby competition as he makes a bid to return to the international stage and challenges again for a World Cup wing spot.
Former DHL Western Province favourite Schalk Brits will return to Newlands along with rising French-based star, Rory Kockott, as 2 of 6 South Africans, four of whom have played test rugby, as part of the Samsung-sponsored World XV squad for their match against Heyneke Meyer’s Springboks at DHL Newlands on 7 June.
All 6 of these South Africans play their rugby abroad and have been released by their clubs for this match.
All Black Hosea Gear has signed with French side Toulouse, New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief Steve Tew said on Friday, playing down fears cashed-up overseas clubs are luring the country’s top talent.
Bryan Habana’s spectacular score against New Zealand in the inaugural Rugby Championship has been named Try of the Year for 2012 by the International Rugby Players’ Association.
The New Zealand All Blacks have made two changes to the starting team which ran riot over the Pumas last weekend, to play the Springboks at FNB Stadium (Soccer City), near Soweto.