You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ngatai returns to bolster Chiefs midfield

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/06/2017

Concussion will keep Brodie Retallick sidelined for at least another week, but the Chiefs welcome back key midfielder Charlie Ngatai for their Super Rugby clash against the Hurricanes on Friday.

All Black lock Retallick has had headaches since the win over the Waratahs last weekend and will be replaced by Michael Allardice, who is starting his first game for the Chiefs in almost a year.

The Hawke's Bay lock came off the bench against the Waratahs.

Ngatai, meanwhile, will be a huge boost to the Chiefs' midfield, himself only recently recovering from concussion issues.

He will be joined in the midfield by All Black Anton Lienert-Brown and they will face the in-form Hurricanes duo of Vince Aso and Ngani Laumape.

Injuries to Toni Pulu (hamstring) and Tim Nanai-Williams (ankle) have also opened the door for Solomon Alaimalo to have another start on the wing for the Chiefs.

The match will mark James Lowe's 50th game for the franchise in what will be a fitting tribute to the Tasman winger who is heading to Ireland at the end of the season to take up a three-year contract with Leinster.

With the Crusaders having cemented first place, the Hurricanes and Chiefs are fighting it out for the first wildcard qualifier position.

Chiefs: Kane Hames, Nathan Harris, Nepo Laulala, Dominic Bird, Michael Allardice, Mitchell Brown, Sam Cane (co-captain), Liam Messam, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden (co-captain), James Lowe, Charlie Ngatai, Anton Lienert-Brown, Solomon Alaimalo, Damian McKenzie. Reserves: Liam Polwart, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Atu Moli, Tom Sanders, Lachlan Boshier, Finlay Christie, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon