Super Rugby

SA-born prop gets first start in Chiefs jersey

Ross Geldenhuys (Getty Images)
Ross Geldenhuys (Getty Images)

Chiefs coach Warren Gatland has made several changes to his starting XV to face the Waratahs in a Super Rugby clash in Wollongong on Friday.

Kick-off is at 10:15 (SA time).

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South African-born prop Ross Geldenhuys will run out for his first start in the Chiefs jersey, replacing Atu Moli who has been ruled out due to illness.

Geldenhuys, who previously played for teams like the Lions, Sharks, Kings and Highlanders, will be joined by weekly start Aidan Ross and hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho who moves from the bench into the starting jersey.

The locking duo of Michael Allardice and Tyler Ardron will complete a strong tight five. Lachlan Boshier returns from his break to start in the No 6 jersey in place of Luke Jacobson. Chiefs captain Sam Cane remains at No 7 alongside the powerful Pita Gus Sowakula at No 8.

An experienced halfback pairing of Brad Weber and Aaron Cruden will respectively start at Nos 9 and 10. In a competitive tussle for midfield starting spots, All Black Anton Lienert-Brown will move to inside centre, making way for Tumua Manu who will return from injury to start at outside centre. The back three will see Sean Wainui return to the left wing, Shaun Stevenson start on the right wing and Solomon Alaimalo completing a dynamic backline.

On the bench, Counties Manukau hooker Donald Maka will be set to make his Super Rugby debut. Rookie Ryan Coxon moves into the squad in jersey No 17. Alex Nankivell will be the only remaining change to the reserves slotting into jersey No 23.

Gatland said the Chiefs wanted to deliver an improved performance.

"We were disappointed with our performance against the Brumbies in front of our fans. On Friday we want to get our campaign back on track. The boys are eager to get back out on the field and deliver an improved performance. We know that our starts need to be sharper, so that is a focus heading into this game.

"It should be a competitive hit out on Friday, so it is great to have the likes of Tumua returning from injury. He is a powerful midfielder and we are excited to see him in action again. It will also be a special moment for Donald Maka. He has been training hard and we are pleased to reward him for this," concluded Gatland.

Teams:

Waratahs

15 Kurtley Beale (captain), 14 James Ramm, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Jack Maddocks, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Tom Staniforth, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Angus Bell

Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Pat Tafa, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Michael McDonald, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Siosifa Lisala

Chiefs

15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 1 Aidan Ross

Substitutes: 16 Donald Maka, 17 Ryan Coxon, 18 Reuben O'Neill, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Alex Nankivell

- Chiefs Rugby