Chiefs beef up midfield

Sonny Bill Williams will start at 12 for the Chiefs against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

In the four changes to the backline, centres Williams and Charlie Ngatai return from injury to take their place in midfield ahead of Andrew Horrell and Anton-Lienert Brown.

In the back three, Tim Nanai-Williams has recovered from the finger injury he picked up against the Stormers and moves onto the right wing, with Tom Marshall switching to fullback. Damian McKenzie drops out of the match-day squad altogether. And at scrumhalf, Brad Weber is preferred to Augustine Pulu.

Coach Dave Rennie has named an unchanged forward pack from the team that beat the Blues 23-16 two weeks ago.

Chiefs – 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Subs: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Pauliasi Manu, 19 Michael Fitzgerald, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Bryce Heem.

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams