It will be the first time ever the Gallagher Chiefs have faced Moana Pasifika at home. The forecast is looking promising for the Saturday afternoon fixture which kicks off at 4.35pm at FMG Stadium Waikato.
In the front row, Ollie Norris slots into loosehead prop alongside Bradley Slater at hooker and Angus Ta’avao at tighthead. The young All Black locking duo of Josh Lord and Tupou Vaa’i will complete the starting tight five.
In the loose forwards, seasoned Gallagher Chiefs forward Mitch Brown returns to start at blindside in his first match of the season. In-form flanker Kaylum Boshier shifts to the openside while stand-in captain Luke Jacobson will round out the forward pack at Number 8.
In the backline, Cortez Ratima will claim his first start of the season at halfback pairing up with Bryn Gatland at ten. Rameka Poihipi also gains his first start at second-five eighth, combining with Alex Nankivell at centre.
In the back three, Shaun Stevenson returns to the starting line-up on the right wing. The elusive duo of Etene Nanai-Seturo and Chase Tiatia keep their starting spots on the left wing and fullback respectively to complete the backline.
On the bench, Tyrone Thompson will provide cover at hooker while Aidan Ross and George Dyer will round out the front row replacements in jerseys 17 and 18 respectively. Naitoa Ah Kuoi shifts to the bench in jersey 19 alongside Samipeni Finau in jersey 20 to complete the forward replacements. Gallagher Chiefs Co-captain Brad Weber has been named in jersey 21, while Rivez Reihana keeps his spot on the bench as a utility back replacement. Jonah Lowe has been named in jersey 23 to round out the match day twenty-three.
Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Clayton McMillan is focused on bouncing back in front of a passionate home crowd this Easter weekend.
“We’ve had an honest and constructive review after last week’s match and are determined to bounce back with a solid performance. A sharp response is required if we want to measure up against a very physical and passionate Moana Pasifika side. It should be a fast-paced encounter and we hope our fans will join us at FMG Stadium Waikato for an entertaining afternoon of footy”. said McMillan.
Kids can go free to the match on Saturday when tickets are purchased before 8pm tonight (2 x free kids tickets with every adult ticket in select zones). Tickets are available from chiefs.flicket.co.nz from $16 for adults (excluding booking/card fees).
Gallagher Chiefs to face Moana Pasifika
1. Ollie Norris
2. Bradley Slater
3. Angus Ta’avao
4. Josh Lord
5. Tupou Vaa’i
6. Mitch Brown
7. Kaylum Boshier
8. Luke Jacobson ©
9. Cortez Ratima
10. Bryn Gatland
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
12. Rameka Poihipi
13. Alex Nankivell
14. Shaun Stevenson
15. Chase Tiatia
Reserves: 16. Tyrone Thompson 17. Aidan Ross 18. George Dyer 19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi 20. Samipeni Finau 21. Brad Weber (cc) 22. Rivez Reihana 23. Jonah Lowe