chiefs.co.nz and James Mortimer 26.Jul.2013Getty Images
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie acknowledges that hosting this game is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and that his side is excited by the challenge and looking forward to playing in front of their family, friends and fans.
“We had an enormous amount of injuries in the first half of the campaign. So to win our conference and finish top seed speaks volumes for the culture and depth of our squad.
“But at this stage of the season, seeding’s and previous results count for little. Success for us comes down to a willingness to scrap hard for each other for 80 minutes. The reward, a home final and a shot at another title,” said Rennie.
There have been seven changes to the Chiefs side. Andrew Horrell and Charlie Ngatai are the starting midfield pair and are joined by Asaeli Tikoirotuma on the wing and Gareth Anscombe at fullback.
Rhys Marshall comes onto the bench replacing Mahonri Schwalger who is kept out this week with a knee injury and is joined by prop Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki and Robbie Robinson.
There will be a moments silence at the beginning of the match to remember New Zealand rugby player Willie Halaifonua from the Takapuna Rugby Club who passed away this week.
With the weather forecast expected to be fine ticket sales are ahead of the semi final clash from last year with tickets still available in all areas. There have been nearly 19,000 tickets sold for the match and tickets are available from Gate 1 Tristram Street, Waikato Stadium from 8am-6pm every day this week. Tickets are also available from usual outlets including www.ticketdirect or via the 0800 4 Chiefs with ticket numbers limited to ten per person.
Tickets to the Chiefs v Crusaders match are available from Gate One at Waikato Stadium from 8am till 6pm until game day with map seating locations on site for viewing.
Chiefs team to play Crusaders
Craig Clarke ©
Matt Vant Leven