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Chiefs v Hurricanes: Teams
At Waikato Stadium, Friday June 9, kick-off 7.35pm (8.35am BST)
The two bottom teams in the New Zealand Conference will be out to salvage some pride when the Chiefs host the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday.
The 10th-placed Chiefs will be looking to leapfrog the Hurricanes in the table and put themselves in a position to avoid New Zealand's wooden spoon.
And the home side will go into the clash in good form after winning four out of their last six games following struggles in the early stages of the competition.
They most recently shocked New Zealand Conference leaders the Blues and can claim a second straight victory when they take on the Hurricanes.
There are two changes from the win over the Blues; Dwayne Sweeney comes into the centres for Tana Umaga and Isaac Ross replaces Romana Graham in the second row.
The Chiefs are unbeaten in their last three outings at Waikato Stadium but face a Hurricanes team who are also experiencing an end-of-season revival.
The Wellington-based franchise has endured a tough 2011 campaign, but wins against the Lions and Force finally gave their fans something to smile about - even if those two teams are below them on the ladder.
With Aaron Cruden firing on all cylinders, Piri Weepu lasting close to a full game and Ma'a Nonu back to his best, coach Mark Hammett will go into the match with renewed confidence.
They make one change for the match with the Lions as wing Julian Savea comes in for Jayden Hayward, with Alapati Leiua switching to outside centre.
But the Hurricanes camp has been rocked by Hammett's midweek decision to sack Nonu and captain Andrew Hore for the 2012 season and the Chiefs will hope to extend their good run of form by taking advantage of the turmoil.
Chiefs: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Dwayne Sweeney, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam , 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Nathan White, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Matt Vant Leven, 19 TBC, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Tim Nanai-Williams, 22 Jackson Willison.
Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Mark Reddish/Karl Lowe, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Jayden Hayward, 22 Richard Buckman.
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|Waratahs 26 - 8 Brumbies|
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|Sharks 31 - 27 Highlanders|
|Brumbies 32 - 30 Chiefs|
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|Stormers 10 - 34 Sharks|
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|Crusaders 34 - 8 Highlanders|
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|Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne Rebels|
|Brumbies 47 - 25 Western Force|
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|Stormers 16 - 0 Bulls|
|Western Force 30 - 20 Reds|
|Crusaders 21 - 13 Blues|
|Friday 4th July|
|Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne Rebels|
|Chiefs 24 - 16 Hurricanes|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com