Super Rugby 2020: Luke Jacobson confirmed for Chiefs return against Brumbies

Chiefs coach Warren Gatland has unveiled the remarkable depth at his disposal by making nine starting changes to his Super Rugby team to face the Brumbies in Hamilton.

Gatland has continued to follow through with his pledge to give players ample field-time through the opening month of the competition, an approach that can't be faulted to date.

The Chiefs have lodged three convincing wins from three to go top of the overall table, including last week's 26-point thrashing of the Sunwolves in Japan.

Only six starting players are still in the run-on XV to face the Brumbies, with Gatland virtually forced to field the same front row, because of injuries to All Blacks props Nepo Laulala and Angus Ta'avao.

Damian McKenzie gets another chance to showcase his sizzling form at fullback, while Gatland has also retains inside centre Alex Nankivell and lock Michael Allardice.

Notable selections are flanker Luke Jacobson and winger Sam McNicol, who have both endured concussion problems.

Hard-hitting two-test All Black Jacobson has recovered from symptoms that forced him to return home early from the World Cup campaign last September and makes his first appearance of the season.

Former age-group star McNicol hasn't played Super Rugby for nearly three years, because of a string of concussion problems and other injuries.

Seasoned All Blacks flanker Sam Cane returns from a week off to assume the captaincy, while Gatland has the luxury of adding five-eighth Aaron Cruden and centre Anton Lienert-Brown to a backline that oozes class.

"In these first four or five games, we want to give everyone an opportunity to involved in the starting team and the 23 to create that competition," Gatland said.

"We've got people putting their hands up. It's a nice place for a coach to be, but really tough for selections."

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Bradley Slater,3-Atu Moli, 4-Michael Allardice, 5-Mitchell Brown, 6-Luke Jacobson, 7-Sam Cane (c), 8-Pita Gus Sowakula, 9-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 10-Aaron Cruden, 11-Sam McNicol, 12-Alex Nankivell, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Sean Wainui, 15-Damian McKenzie.

Reserves: 16-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17-Reuben O'Neill, 18-Ross Geldenhuys, 19-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20-Mitchell Karpik, 21-Lisati Milo-Harris, 22-Kaleb Trask, 23-Quinn Tupaea.

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