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Boshier given chance to impress for Chiefs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017

Lachlan Boshier gets another shot to burst from the shadows at the Chiefs after his inclusion in the team to face the Stormers in Cape Town.

Openside flanker Boshier replaces the injured Sam Cane (concussion) in one of five changes from the side who beat the Bulls 28-12 in Hamilton to continue their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season.

Three are in the pack, including the return of Boshier, who shone brightly in his only other start this year, in the round-two thumping of the Blues.

The 22-year-old from Taranaki has been handed just a lone bench appearance since, with the Chiefs coaches blessed by access to first-choice All Black Cane and another rising No.7, Mitchell Karpik.

Assistant coach Neil Barnes says Boshier wasn't downheartened by his lack of opportunity.

"Lockie has got a great skill set and we hold him in high regard," he said.

"In a competition like this you've got to have depth so we're lucky to have him in our squad as well as Mitchell Karpik.

"I'm hoping he can turn out another one like he did against the Blues."

Barnes said there was no rush to return Cane to the fray, with the quality of Boshier and Karpik making it easy to take their time and ensure the world class loose forward is 100 per cent fit.

The other changes up front come at prop, where Atu Moli replaces the injured Nepo Laulala while Kane Hames returns to the starting line up in place of Siegfried Fisi'ihoi.

The suspension of Johnny Faauli has given veteran Stephen Donald another chance to start at second five-eighth against the team he helped dismantle in last year's 60-21 quarter-final rout.

Toni Pulu has recovered from his hamstring strain and will play on the right wing despite Shaun Stevenson's impressive performance last Saturday.

"Shaun certainly stepped up last week but he's got areas of his game where he needs to improve if he wants to be in the starting position," Barnes said.

The Stormers share the same five-from-five record as the Chiefs and are second only to the Hurricanes in terms of attack, averaging nearly 42 points per game.

Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Stephen Donald, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (capt), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Michael Leitch, Lachlan Boshier, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Atu Moli, Hika Elliot, Kane Hames. Reserves: Brayden Mitchell, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Sosefo Kautai, Taleni Seu, Mitchell Brown, Finlay Christie, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson.

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