The Gallagher Chiefs will take on neighbours Moana Pasifika at AAMI Stadium at 7.05pm (NZ Time) seeking to follow up the opening round victory over champions the Crusaders.
Head coach Clayton McMillan has named a strong side, largely retained from the outstanding win in Christchurch last week.
“We prepared well and the desire to work hard for the full 80 minutes was outstanding,” said head coach Clayton McMillan. “Anything less than that and you won’t come away from Christchurch with much, so it was a pleasing start.”
“Our set-piece improved in the second half, the collisions were strong and we used possession well with a sound tactical kicking game.
“We have come out of that game with a few niggles, but have managed to name the bulk of last week’s squad as we look to build some cohesion whilst balancing the need to inject a few fresh bodies. We have belief in our squad and this is an opportunity for some to press their claims.”
McMillan said while the team is pleased with the opening round win, that he is looking for a further step up against a talented Moana Pasifika side in Melbourne.
The changes to the starting pack see Ollie Norris start at loosehead in place of Aidan Ross, while Etene Nanai-Seturo returns on the left wing after he was a late withdrawal against the Crusaders, with last week’s debutante Liam Coombes-Fabling moving to the right wing.
There are several changes in the reserves including hooker Tyrone Thompson , prop Jared Proffit, lock Laghlan McWhannell, loose forward Simon Parker, first-five Bryn Gatland and outside back Ngatungane Punivai all coming in.
The game kicks off at 7.05pm (NZ Time) on Saturday at AAMI Stadium, Melbourne.
The team is (Chiefs caps in brackets):
1. Ollie Norris (29)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (64)
3. George Dyer (9)
4. Brodie Retallick (116)
5. Tupou Vaa’i (32)
6. Pita Gus Sowakula (54)
7. Sam Cane (Co-Captain, 138)
8. Luke Jacobson (50)
9. Brad Weber (Co-Captain, 111)
10. Damian McKenzie (96)
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo (29)
12. Rameka Poihipi (15)
13. Alex Nankivell (59)
14. Liam Coombes-Fabling (1)
15. Shaun Stevenson (68)
16. Tyrone Thompson (5)
17. Jared Proffit (Debut)
18. John Ryan (1)
19. Laghlan McWhannell (3)
20. Simon Parker (3)
21. Cortez Ratima (10)
22. Bryn Gatland (47)
23. Ngatungane Punivai (Debut)