Japan captain to debut for Chiefs

Michael Leitch will make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday. 

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made five changes to the starting lineup and one positional switch following their 20-17 loss to the Highlanders last weekend.

In the only change to the pack, Leitch will start at No 8, with captain Liam Messam moving to 6 and Johan Bardoul dropping out of the match-day squad.

Meanwhile, youngster Damian McKenzie will start at fullback in place of Tom Marshall, Bryce Heem gets the nod on the right wing ahead of Hosea Gear and scrumhalf Brad Weber is paired with No 10 Aaron Cruden as the halfbacks.

Tim Nanai-Williams comes in at outside centre and will partner with his cousin Sonny Bill Williams in midfield.

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

Photo: Paul Taylor/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams