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Chiefs turn to hooker Harris for Rebels

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/05/2016

Nathan Harris © Kerry Marshall / Getty Images Nathan Harris Hooker Nathan Harris will make his first start for the Chiefs in nearly two years when he takes on the Melbourne Rebels.

The two-Test All Black is one of two starting changes coach Dave Rennie has made to the side beaten by the Highlanders last time out.

Harris, who hasn't started a game for the Chiefs since seriously injuring his ankle in the All Blacks' Test against United States in Chicago in 2014, replaces Hika Elliot in the run-on XV in Hamilton on Saturday.

The 24-year-old had been slated to start for the Chiefs in South Africa in March but he suffered a head knock while training in Port Elizabeth.

Concussion symptoms are keeping influential midfield back Charlie Ngatai out of the match and Anton Lienert-Brown will fill-in at second five-eighth.

Ngatai, a contender to be named in the All Blacks later this month, is one of 13 Chiefs players ruled out of their final round-robin match at home.

But loose forward Tom Sanders is back from injury to provide loose forward cover on the bench.

Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Toni Pulu, Seta Tamanivalu, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden, Brad Weber, Michael Leitch, Sam Cane, Taleni Seu, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Hiroshi Yamashita, Nathan Harris, Mitchell Graham. Reserves: Hika Elliot, Kane Hames, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Michael Allardice, Tom Sanders, Kayne Hammington, Andrew Horrell, Sam Vaka.

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