Super Rugby: Chiefs name depleted side to tackle Sharks in Durban

The Chiefs are without 20 players for their Super Rugby showdown in South Africa.
The Chiefs are without 20 players for their Super Rugby showdown in South Africa. Photo credit: AAP

Charlie Ngatai will lead an inexperienced Chiefs team to face the Sharks in Durban on Sunday morning (NZ time).

The Hamilton side is without 20 players for the fixture, including All Blacks quartet Damian McKenzie, Brodie Retallick, Anton Lienert-Brown and Nathan Harris, who are back in New Zealand for an ABs training camp this weekend.

Fullback Scott Stevenson comes in for Lienert-Brown with Ngatai taking his place at 13. Sean Wainui rotates with Toni Pulu on the right wing, with Marty McKenzie taking brother Damian's place at first-five.

There is just one change among the forwards; Pita Gus Sowakula will start at no 8, while Canadian Tyler Ardron will take Retallick's spot at lock.

Loose forward Matt Matich will make his debut from the bench, while prop Sosefo Kautai will play his first match of the season after four caps in 2017.

Head Coach Colin Cooper is looking forward to the challenge the Sharks will bring in Durban.

"We are in our second week of this tough tour, and we were very happy to beat the Stormers," he said.

"We are looking forward to a great contest in Durban against the Sharks. It's going to be another tough game for us, but we are really excited about the challenge ahead.

The team has united really quickly, and we are certainly looking forward to the challenge in the Shark Tank."

Chiefs squad to face Sharks

1. Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2. Liam Polwart, 3. Angus Ta’avao, 4. Tyler Ardron, 5. Michael Allardice, 6.  Luke Jacobson, 7. Liam Messam, 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Marty McKenzie, 11. Solomon Alaimalo, 12. Johnny Fa'auli, 13. Charlie Ngatai (C), 14. Sean Wainui, 15. Shaun Stevenson

Substitutes: 16. Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17. Sam Prattley, 18. Sosefo Kautai, 19. Jesse Parete, 20. Matt Matich, 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Luteru Laulala, 23. Toni Pulu