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The stage is set for a sensational semifinal showdown at AMI Stadium in Christchurch this Saturday. Only one team will remain in the running for the coveted 2017 Investec Super Rugby title when referee Glen Jackson blows the whistle to end this weekend’s war between the Gallagher Chiefs and the BNZ Crusaders.

Head coach Dave Rennie has named his strongest possible team to do battle with the Southerners at 7.35pm on Saturday night. There are just three changes to the side that defeated the Stormers 17-11 in a spirited Cape Town quarterfinal contest last weekend.

Resilient midfielder Charlie Ngatai returns from an ankle injury to start at second five-eighth, with veteran utility back Stephen Donald vacating the number 12  jersey to bolster the bench. Experienced Samoan-International Tim Nanai-Williams is promoted from the reserves to start on the right wing.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the BNZ Crusaders at 7.35pm this Saturday in Christchurch is:

1.            Kane Hames (24)

2.            Nathan Harris (30)

3.            Nepo Laulala (14)

4.            Mitchell Brown (17)

5.            Brodie Retallick (84)

6.            Liam Messam (161)

7.            Sam Cane (94) – Co-captain

8.            Michael Leitch (33)

9.            Tawera Kerr-Barlow (82)

10.         Aaron Cruden (88) – Co-captain

11.         James Lowe (52)

12.         Charlie Ngatai (42)

13.         Anton Lienert-Brown (39)

14.         Tim Nanai-Williams (84)

15.         Damian McKenzie (49)    

RESERVES:

16.         Liam Polwart (5)

17.         Aidan Ross (5)

18.         Atu Moli (27)

19.         Dominic Bird (28)

20.         Lachlan Boshier (18)

21.         Finlay Christie (9)

22.         Stephen Donald (103)

23.         Shaun Stevenson (24)

() = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets

Not considered for selection: Brad Weber, Mitchell Graham, Sam McNicol, Toni Pulu, Taleni Seu, Hika Elliot and Johnny Faauli.

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