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Sanders gets chance as Chiefs No.8

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/05/2016

A former New Zealand under-20 representative, Sanders said he had gleaned a lot from All Black Sam Cane and Leitch in his first year of Super Rugby. © AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford A former New Zealand under-20 representative, Sanders said he had gleaned a lot from All Black Sam Cane and Leitch in his first year of Super Rugby. Chiefs loose forward Tom Sanders gets his chance to make the No.8 jersey his own when he comes in for the injured Michael Leitch against the Waratahs in Sydney.

Japan captain Leitch has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks after dislocating his thumb in the Chiefs' 36-15 Super Rugby win over the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton last Saturday night.

"It's pretty unfortunate for Leitchy and the team," Sanders said.

"He's a pretty courageous guy and leads from the front, and is going to be sorely missed."

Sander's promotion is the only change to the Chiefs' starting line-up for the match on Friday.

The 22-year-old Canterbury player has been battling his own share of injuries this season, missing games through shoulder and foot problems, and suffering a concussion.

"I had a few niggles and that was beginning to get frustrating so I'm just happy to be back in the mix," he said.

"I'll try and put my best foot forward and have a positive impact for the team on the weekend."

A former New Zealand under-20 representative, Sanders said he had gleaned a lot from All Black Sam Cane and Leitch in his first year of Super Rugby.

He has had one only match at the back of the scrum this season having played most of his games on the blind side.

But he believes he's up to the task, having had a lot of club experience at No.8.

"It's difficult to get a start with Leitchy here and Taleni Seu playing so well at six," he said.

"As long as I'm on the field, I don't really have a preference to be honest."

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