Strong Taranaki influence for Chiefs return to New Plymouth

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The teams previously played each other at the venue in 2017, and due to stadium upgrades, their return to the region has been delayed until now.
There will be further excitement for locals as four Taranaki Bulls players have been named to run out in front of their friends and whānau on Friday night: prop Jared Proffit, New Plymouth Boys High School alumnus Bradley Slater, and All Black locks Tupou Vaa'i and Josh Lord.
The locally based forward pack will be joined by John Ryan at tighthead prop with Ollie Norris, Atunaisa Moli, and Tyrone Thompson in the reserves. Manaaki Selby-Rickit and Naitoa Ah Kuoi will provide support off the bench at lock.
Samipeni Finau and Simon Parker are named to start in the loose forwards with Luke Jacobson to captain the team in the number eight jersey.
Halfback goes to Cortez Ratima this week with Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi as support. Damian McKenzie starts at first-five with Josh Ioane returning to the playing 23 to assist off the bench.
Dynamic wingers Etene Nanai-Seturo and Emoni Narawa will start, with Shaun Stevenson slotting into his place at fullback. Meanwhile, Rameka Poihipi and Anton Lienert-Brown will command the midfield with support from Alex Nankivell.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan is looking forward to getting down to Taranaki to play the Reds. 
“It is home to a number of our players, and it will be a proud moment for those who were fit and available to play in front of friends and family. 
“That played a part in our squad selection; alongside All Blacks rest protocols, increasing squad readiness for upcoming games, and respecting the huge challenge the Reds will bring. 
“At this stage of the season, every point counts and I have no doubt both teams will come eager to lock horns in the bullring.”
The game will kick off at 7.05pm for round 12 of DHL Super Rugby Pacific. Get your TICKETS HERE.
Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Reds (caps in brackets):

1: Jared Proffit (2)
2: Bradley Slater (45)
3: John Ryan (10)
4: Tupou Vaa'i (39)
5: Josh Lord (17)
6: Samipeni Finau (26)
7: Simon Parker (5)
8: Luke Jacobson (Captain, 57)
9: Cortez Ratima (19)
10: Damian McKenzie (105)
11: Etene Nanai-Seturo (37)
12: Rameka Poihipi (23)
13: Anton Lienert-Brown (100)
14: Emoni Narawa (9)
15: Shaun Stevenson (77)
Reserves: Tyrone Thompson (10), Ollie Norris (38), Atunaisa Moli (53), Manaaki Selby-Rickit (3), Naitoa Ah Kuoi (42), Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (40)
Josh Ioane (9), Alex Nankivell (64)


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