Super Rugby 2020: Chiefs' Damian McKenzie, Aaron Cruden to start against Crusaders

  • 06/02/2020

The Chiefs will welcome Damian McKenzie back into the fold for their blockbuster derby against the Crusaders on Saturday.

The All Blacks sparkplug was a late scratch for their opening win against the Blues last weekend due to a tight abductor, but has been cleared for action in Hamilton.

The backline will also be boosted by the return of All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown and Aaron Cruden, who both came off the bench at Eden Park.

Lienert-Brown with combine with Quinn Tupaea in the 12 and 13 jerseys respectively, while Alex Nankivell moves to the bench.

In the forwards, prop Atu Moli comes in to replace his All Blacks colleague Nepo Laulala - who's been sidelined with a knee injury - in an otherwise unchanged pack.

Laulala 's MCL issue is set to keep him off the field for a lengthy spell, with an expected recovery of six weeks.

Their front-row stocks have also been dented by the loss of Angus Ta'avao, who'll miss this week due to concussion symptoms.

On the bench, Waikato and Bay of Plenty props Ollie Norris and Ross Geldenhuys will both be in line for their Super Rugby debuts, while Brad Weber remains as Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi's backup at halfback.

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Atu Moli, 4-Tyler Ardron, 5-Mitchell Brown, 6-Lachlan Boshier, 7-Mitchell Karpik, 8-Sam Cane, 9-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 10-Aaron Cruden, 11-Solomon Alaimalo, 12-Anton Lienert-Brown, 13-Quinn Tupaea, 14-Sean Wainui, 15-Damian McKenzie 

Bench: 16-Bradley Slater, 17-Ross Geldenhuys, 18-Ollie Norris, 19-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20-Pita Gus Sowakula, 21-Brad Weber, 22-Kaleb Trask, 23-Alex Nankivell

Join us for live updates of Chiefs v Crusaders from 7pm Saturday