'It's do or die' - Chiefs recall All Blacks firepower for quarter-final showdown with Hurricanes

The Chiefs have injected their All Blacks contingent back into their squad for this week's quarter-final clash with the Hurricanes after their 28-24 win over the Wellington side in Hamilton in the last round.

The Chiefs have made several changes to their starting XV as they head to the capital for the contest.

Whirlwind All Black Karl Tu’inukuafe and Nathan Harris are back in the front row, while Sam Cane also returns to the team at openside flanker.

In the backs, Damian McKenzie comes back in at first-five, with Charlie Ngatai starting at 12 and Sean Wainui slotting back in on the right wing.

Coach Colin Cooper said the team was ready to go up a gear now that the playoffs have arrived.

"It’s do or die at this point in the season, the winner takes all and we’ve talked about the importance of giving the best you can and your all for the jersey.

"We’ve put out a consistent team. Damian coming back brings a lot of X Factor into our game. We’re excited to see the combinations Damian, Charlie and Anton will bring as well as the leadership Sam Cane displays every time he takes the field."

Cooper added his side are aware of the threat the Hurricanes will bring at home.

"The Hurricanes are going to bring a lot of intelligent skills to the contest. I expect them to use a lot of variety and they have a very good backline so there’ll be lots of threats around the park."

Friday's contest kicks off at 7:30pm in Wellington.

Chiefs: Solomon Alaimalo, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai (co-c), Shaun Stevenson, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (co-c), Lachlan Boshier, Michael Allardice, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta'avao, Nathan Harris, Karl Tu'inukuafe.

Reserves: Liam Polwart, Sam Prattley, Jeff Thwaites, Jesse Parete, Mitch Karpik, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Marty McKenzie, Alex Nankivell.

Chiefs' Damian McKenzie is tackled by Hurricanes Ricky Riccitelli and Michael Fatialofa during the Hurricanes vs Chiefs Super Rugby match at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday the 13th of March 2018. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville /
Chiefs' Damian McKenzie is tackled by Hurricanes Ricky Riccitelli and Michael Fatialofa during a Super Rugby. Source: Photosport

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