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The Gallagher Chiefs kick off round three of the Investec Super Rugby competition with another exciting New Zealand derby against northern rivals the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland. Both teams have everything to play for and are looking to get their respective seasons underway with a win after hard-fought losses in their opening games last weekend.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has made four changes to the starting fifteen who competed against the Crusaders in Christchurch last Saturday. There are two changes in the forward pack, with Michael Allardice coming in to partner Brodie Retallick at lock and the ever experienced Liam Messam starting in the loose forwards with Sam Cane and Taleni Seu.

Sean Wainui makes his first start for the Gallagher Chiefs on the wing with the talented Shaun Stevenson moving to fullback.

The game kicks off at 7:35pm this Friday night at Eden Park. Following this round, the team will have a bye, followed by their first home game against the Bulls on Friday 16 March at FMG Stadium Waikato.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the Blues this Friday at 7:35pm is:

1. Aidan Ross
2. Nathan Harris
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Michael Allardice
6. Liam Messam
7. Sam Cane
8. Taleni Seu
9. Brad Weber
10. Damian McKenzie
11. Solomon Alaimalo
12. Johnny Faauli
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Sean Wainui
15. Shaun Stevenson

RESERVES:

16. Liam Polwart
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Mitchell Brown*/Luke Jacobson
20. Lachlan Boshier
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
22. Tiaan Falcon
23. Bailyn Sullivan/Declan O’Donnell

*Pending fitness test

Unavailable for selection: Dominic Bird, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Toni Pulu, Fin Hoeata, Alex Nankivell, Tyler Ardron, Regan Verney, Mitchell Graham, Sosefo Kautai, Sam McNicol, Atu Moli, Kane Hames, Marty McKenzie, Levi Aumua

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