chiefs.co.nz and James Mortimer 20.Mar.2013Getty Images
Chiefs’ coach Dave Rennie has made several changes to his side. Co-captain Craig Clarke will sit this match out as a precautionary measure after receiving a slight knock to the head last week and will be replaced by Michael Fitzgerald. Nick Crosswell will start in the No 8 jersey as Ross Filipo spends the next 8-10 weeks recovering from his MCL injury. Pauliasi Manu starts at prop while Ben Afeaki moves to the bench.
Richard Kahui has the potential to make his long awaiting come back and is bracketed on the bench with Patrick Osborne. In the reserves Romana Graham is bracketed with Fritz Lee.
Dave Rennie said “We are expecting a similar battle to our first game against the Highlanders. It was physical and fast and this week will be nothing less.
“It will be a special game as we will be honouring Liam Messam for becoming the first person to have played 100 matches for the Chiefs. To acknowledge his impressive achievement in front of our home crowd will be a great occasion.”
Liam Messam’s special milestone will be celebrated at the Chiefs game with some special events at the match. There will be Liam Messam Centurion poster giveaways, a special performance from Mihirangi from ‘New Zealand’s Got Talent’ and the public are encouraged to stay for a special post-match presentation to Messam – a true Chiefs Warrior.
At the match there will also be Chiefs flag giveaways, Waikato Draught ‘Catch for Cash’, Chiefs Cheerleaders and performances from the inspirational Maori Toa group.
In the Waikato Times Kid Zone alcohol free area there will be face painting, a bouncy castle and free goodie packs for the kids. The Chiefs and the Hamilton City Council will run a free bus on game night. Buses start from 6pm from Hood St to the Stadium and back to Hood St after the match and leave approximately every 15minutes.
Tickets for the Chiefs home game against the Highlanders this Friday at Waikato Stadium start from as little as $14 for Adults and $5 for kids 14 years and under $5 (plus service fees). Kids 4 years and under are free on the knee are. Kick off is at 7.35pm and gates open at 5.45pm.
Tickets are available from Gate One at Waikato Stadium from each Monday of game week from 8am till 6pm until game day with map seating locations on site for viewing. For all other ticket purchases go to www.Chiefs.co.nz
Chiefs Season Memberships are still on sale with an adjustment for the first game already played from as little as $65 or $2.65 per week. Visit www.getinnow.co.nz or 0800 GET IN NOW.
Welcome our official Matchday Sponsor: Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
Liam Messam ©
Romana Graham/Fritz Lee
Richard Kahui/Patrick Osborne