Kini Na­holo to get Su­per break

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Fi­jian-born Kini Na­holo is going to get Su­per Rugby de­but on Satur­day against the Hur­ri­canes in Welling­ton. Na­holo was named in the re­serves for the Chiefs as they search for their first win in the Su­per Rugby Aotearoa com­pe­ti­tion. Chiefs head coach War­ren Gat­land made sev­eral changes to his 23 squad for the 7.05pm derby clash. The Chiefs front row has a reshuf­fle with Ol­lie Nor­ris set to start for the first time at loose­head. Samisoni Taukei’aho earns the start­ing role shift­ing Bradley Slater to the re­serves bench. All Black prop Nepo Laulala will again start at tight­head. Lock­ing duo of Naitoa Ah Kuoi and Mitchell Brown will com­plete the tight five. All Black Luke Ja­cob­son re­turns after break­ing his hand to start at six join­ing cap­tain Sam Cane at seven and the pow­er­ful Pita Gus Sowakula at eight.

First five-eighth Kaleb Trask will steer the ship at No.10 in the only change to the start­ing back­line.

The re-en­force­ments off the bench in­clude Waikato prop Rob Cobb, who will be hop­ing to make his In­vestec Su­per Rugby de­but, along­side Taranaki back Na­holo who has been named in jersey num­ber twenty-three. Other changes to the bench in­clude lock Tupou Vaa’i and loose for­ward Mitchell Karpik join­ing the 23.

Gat­land said this weekend was a chance to de­velop a young group of men and fin­ish on a high.

“This weekend is an op­por­tu­nity to grow and de­velop some of our young play­ers. We have two young debu­tants sit­ting on the bench who have been train­ing hard and it is a good chance for them to get a taste of Su­per Rugby.”

“There is still a lot to play for in our eyes. The team have a lot of pride in the jersey and our club. As al­ways, they will be leav­ing it all on the field,” said Gat­land.

Chiefs: 1. Ol­lie Nor­ris, 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3. Nepo Laulala, 4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 5. Mitchell Brown, 6. Luke Ja­cob­son, 7. Sam Cane, 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 9. Brad We­ber, 10. Kaleb Trask, 11. Sean Wainui, 12. Alex Nankivell, 13. An­ton Lienert-Brown, 14. Shaun Steven­son, 15. Damian McKen­zie.

Re­serves: 16. Bradley Slater, 17. Robb Cobb, 18. An­gus Ta’avao, 19. Tupou Vaa’, 20. Mitchell Karpik. 21. Lisati MiloHar­ris. 22. Quinn Tu­paea, 23. Kini Na­holo. -Chiefs

Kini Na­holo.

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