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Chiefs name team to face Highlanders

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chiefs.co.nz     27 Feb 2014     Getty Images

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After an impressive 18-10 victory over the Crusaders last weekend, Chiefs fans are being called upon to fill the Stadium to support the Chiefs in their New Zealand Conference top of the table clash.

The Chiefs coaches have been consistent in their process of giving players a start when depth prevails which will see Pauliasi Manu start at prop and Jamie Mackintosh move to the pine.

Mahonri Schwalger will make his long awaited return to rugby since sitting out the 2013 ITM Cup. Lock Matt Symons and flanker Nick Crosswell come into the starting line-up, joined by Tanerau Latimer with Liam Messam moving into the No 8 spot. Tawera Kerr-Barlow has recovered from a rolled ankle to start at halfback and the back line remains the same.

After blooding in seven new Chiefs last week, including five Investec Super Rugby debutants, the Chiefs will increase that number with Liam Squire having his chance to make his debut off the bench. The new additions to the reserves this week are hooker Rhys Marshall, prop Josh Hohneck and Tevita Koloamatangi.

Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie said “I was really impressed with the passion and the physicality that the Highlanders played with last week. I really felt they out muscled and out enthused the Blues, so it will be another entertaining New Zealand derby match on Saturday night.”

Match entertainment will feature performances from the Chiefs Maori Toa group, The Bank Cheerleaders and the infamous Chiefs pre-match fireworks. There will be giveaways for fans dressed in Chiefs colours and for the kids there will be a free bouncy castle, face painting and a free kid’s pack for Waikato Times Family Zone ticket holders. For family friendly enjoyment the Waikato Times Family Zone is an alcohol free area. At the conclusion of the match all ticket holders are encouraged to move to the Brian Perry Stand to take part in the player autograph signing session.

The Chiefs, Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council will run FREE shuttle buses on game night. Buses start from 6:30pm from Hood St to the Stadium and back to Hood St after the match and leave approximately every 15 minutes. Buses will travel via Victoria, Ulster and Abbotsford streets to the ground.

Chiefs’ fans can still secure their season memberships before the Highlanders hit town with memberships available from $75. Match day adult tickets start at $19; children 14 and under start at $9 and kids 4 years and under are FREE on the knee. Gates to the match sponsored by Splice Construction, open at 6pm.

All ticketing is available online at www.ticketdirect.co.nz or by phoning 0800 4 CHIEFS or in person at Gate 1 Waikato Stadium, game week Monday to Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday game day from 9am. For more match day, ticketing and stadium information visit www.Chiefs.co.nz.

Chiefs: Mils Muliaina, Tim Nanai-Williams, Robbie Fruean, Charlie Ngatai, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden (c), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Tanerau Latimer, Nick Crosswell, Matt Symons, Mike Fitzgerald, Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Pauliasi Manu. Res: Rhys Marshall, Jamie Mackintosh, Josh Hohneck, Tevita Koloamatangi, Liam Squire, Brad Weber, Andrew Horrell, James Lowe.