All Blacks skipper Sam Cane will return from injury to captain the Chiefs in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch on Sunday.
The All Blacks captain takes his place on the openside flank after recovering from a back injury he suffered prior to the start of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Cane’s return sees Lachlan Boshier switch over to the blindside.
Taranaki hooker Bradley Slater is given the nod to start, with Samisoni Taukei’aho shifting to the bench as cover.
Lock Mitchell Brown also returns to take his place in the starting side while in the backline, Solomon Alaimalo starts on the right wing.
“It is great to have the likes of Sam Cane, Mitchell Brown and Mitchell Karpik returning from injury. We know their experience and skill set will be invaluable,” coach Warren Gatland said.
“We were disappointed with our performance against the Blues on Saturday and we know we are better than that. We are under no illusion that this weekend will be another challenging game, the Crusaders are a sharp team and can quickly punish teams for their mistakes.”
“We need to be alert when we are defending and sharp on attack to allow us to capitalise on any opportunities presented to us.”
1. Aidan Ross 2. Bradley Slater 3. Nepo Laulala 4. Mitchell Brown 5. Naitoa Ah Kuoi 6. Lachlan Boshier 7. Sam Cane © 8. Pita Gus Sowakula 9. Brad Weber 10. Aaron Cruden 11. Sean Wainui 12. Anton Lienert-Brown 13. Quinn Tupaea 14. Solomon Alaimalo 15. Damian McKenzie
Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho 17. Reuben O’Neill 18. Ross Geldenhuys 19. Adam Thomson 20. Mitchell Karpik 21. Lisati Milo-Harris 22. Kaleb Trask 23. Tumua Manu