Chiefs head coach Warren Gatland has made just one change to his starting XV to face the Blues in Sunday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Auckland.
Kick-off is at 05:35 (SA time).
Things have not gone according to plan for the Chiefs in the competition, and defeat on Sunday would set a new record losing streak of seven for the franchise.
Loosehead prop Reuben O’Neill joins the starting front row in place of starting loosehead prop Aidan Ross who has been sidelined with a calf strain following last weekend’s defeat against the Highlanders.
The Chiefs’ elusive backline remains unchanged.
On the bench, young prop Ollie Norris joins the match-day 23 alongside Taranaki scrumhalf Lisati Milo-Harris.
Veteran loose forward Adam Thomson will don jersey 19 and is set for his 100th Super Rugby appearance.
Gatland said the side have once again prepared well for the derby.
“Last weekend we had the opportunity to finish the job off, but as we have seen in this competition you need to deliver an 80-minute performance, or longer in some instances and we didn’t do that,” he explained.
“This week we are looking for that consistency, starting strong once again and then continuing to stay in the game and maintain our focus on what we can control.”
15 Matt Duffie, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Blake Gibson, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman
Substitutes: 16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Josh Goodhue, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Otere Black or Emoni Narawa, 23 Harry Plummer
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Kaleb Trask, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O’Neill
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Quinn Tupaea