Chiefs welcome back four All Blacks into starting line-up for clash with dangerous Waratahs

The Chiefs are welcoming back four of their All Blacks for this weekend's clash with the in-form Waratahs.

Nathan Harris, Brodie Retallick, Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown all missed last week's match against the Sharks in Durban because of All Black camp commitments but will start on Saturday night in Hamilton.

They will however be missing co-captain Sam Cane who is still recovering from an abdominal injury, leaving Charlie Ngatai to be the sole leader once again.

Ngatai will link up with Lienert-Brown in the centres, having been handed the No.12 jersey once again, despite playing most of his season at fullback.

Assistant coach Neil Barnes says the team is looking to change things up in the backline after struggling to get on the front foot in recent games.

"It's a bit of a see-how-he-goes, we're just playing with our mixes at the moment," Barnes said.

"We thought he did very well in the midfield last week, and he felt quite comfortable there, blew a few cobwebs off."

The Waratahs sit top of the Australian Conference on high spirits after ending the NZ Conference's winning streak against Aussie sides last week with a 41-12 win over the Highlanders.

They also led the Crusaders 29-0 two weeks ago in Christchurch before throwing away their lead in a 31-29 loss.

Chiefs: Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai (c), Sean Wainui, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber, Liam Messam, Mitch Karpik, Luke Jacobson, Michael Allardice, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta'avao, Nathan Harris, Karl Tu'inukuafe.

Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Sam Prattley, Jeff Thwaites, Jesse Parete, Matt Matich, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Marty McKenzie, Shaun Stevenson.

Chiefs first-five Damian McKenzie passes during the Super 15 Rugby match - Chiefs v Blues played at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday 7 April 2018.

Copyright photo: © Bruce Lim /
Chiefs first-five Damian McKenzie in action against the Blues. Source: Photosport

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