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Injury toll mounts for leaders Chiefs

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/04/2016

Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot offloads the ball against the Western Force at FMG Stadium in Hamilton. © Hannah Peters/Getty Images Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot offloads the ball against the Western Force at FMG Stadium in Hamilton. Halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow is the latest Chiefs player to join the ranks of the casualty ward after breaking his hand.

The All Black is out for up to six weeks after suffering the injury in the Chiefs' 28-27 win over the Hurricanes in Wellington at the weekend.

His injury is the latest to beset the table-topping Chiefs who will also be missing wing James Lowe and midfielder Charlie Ngatai for Friday's match against the Sharks.

The pair are battling shoulder injuries and join 13 other players unavailable for the match.

But big lock Dominic Bird has overcome a foot complaint to return to the starting line-up as one of five changes to the side that inched past the Hurricanes.

Hooker Hika Elliot and Japan Test prop Hiroshi Yamashita return to the front row while loose forward Taleni Seu is promoted from the reserves.

Midfield Anton Lienert-Brown has recovered from a knee injury to start at second five-eighth.

Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Toni Pulu, Seta Tamanivalu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sam McNicol, Aaron Cruden (co-capt), Brad Weber, Michael Leitch, Sam Cane (co-capt), Taleni Seu, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Hiroshi Yamashita, Hika Elliot, Mitchell Graham. Res: Nathan Harris, Siate Tokolahi, Kane Hames, James Tucker, Lachlan Boshier, Kayne Hammington, Andrew Horrell, Shaun Stevenson.

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