Hamilton - Scrumhalf Brad Weber will take over the captaincy in the absence of co-captains Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane when the Chiefs face the Lions at Stadium Waikato on Friday.
Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.
Weber will captain the side in his 65th appearance for the Chiefs. The 28-year-old has previously captained both Hawke’s Bay and Waikato during his time with the respective provinces.
“It is a huge honour to be named as captain for this Friday. I am excited for the opportunity and am thankful to have a great bunch of guys around me which will make my job easier,” Weber told the Chiefs’ official website.
Following a 33-29 win over the Blues in Hamilton last Saturday a number of changes have been made to the 23-man squad.
Bay of Plenty hooker Liam Polwart will make his first appearance of the 2019 Super Rugby season starting in replace of All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris, who is injured. Polwart will combine with Angus Ta’avao and Nepo Laulala.
Loosehead prop Atu Moli returns from his elbow injury and is joined by Samisoni Taukei’aho and Sosefo Kautai who will provide front row cover. A new locking combination of Tyler Ardron and Mitchell Brown will take the field after Retallick was ruled out with a hand injury.
Alex Nankivell will start at outside centre shifting Tumua Manu to the bench named in jersey No 22. Ataata Moeakiola will start on the left wing in place of injured wing Solomon Alaimalo, with Shaun Stevenson moving on to the bench. Jack Debreczeni will start at fullback in place of Damian McKenzie who sustained a season-ending knee injury on Saturday.
Scrumhalf Jonathan Taumateine is given an opportunity to impress coaches off the bench in jersey No 21.
15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Angus Ta'avao
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Shaun Stevenson
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Frans Van Wyk, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Ruan Combrinck