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Super Rugby preview: Chiefs take on the Lions in Hamilton
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- Potent Blues outclass Reds
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The Chiefs have rung the changes as they aim to halt a two-match losing run against the Lions in Hamilton on Saturday.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made 14 changes to his squad, with nine of those changes in the starting XV.
Hooker Nathan Harris and prop Josh Hohneck get their first starts of the season, while Tanerau Latimer moves into the number six jersey in the forwards.
Tawera Kerr-Barlow is the starting half-back, with James Lowe getting his first start on the wing since returning from injury. Tom Marshall comes in at second five-eighth and is joined in the midfield by Charlie Ngatai.
Dwayne Sweeney starts on the right wing and Tim Nanai-Williams moves from the wing back to full-back.
In the five changes to the bench, Mahonri Schwalger moves to the reserves and is joined by Ben Tameifuna for the first time this season, while Mike Fitzgerald, Andrew Horrell and Bundee Aki are also among the replacements.
"We know we are in control of our own destiny and this is a defining match for us," said Rennie, whose side go into the clash on the back of a 18-17 home defeat to the Crusaders and 41-23 loss on the road to the Brumbies.
"We have boxed ourselves into a corner with recent results and now we need to come out fighting."
For the Lions, head coach Johan Ackermann has made four changes to his starting XV.
In the forwards, there is just one change to the team which went down 18-3 to the Stormers in Cape Town a fortnight ago, with Warren Whiteley having made a full recovery from injury to captain the side at number eight.
In the back-line, Faf de Klerk has reclaimed his spot in the run-on side, Elton Jantjies starts at fly-half and Deon van Rensburg returns in the wing position, having recovered from his minor injury.
On the bench, Armand van der Merwe will make his Super Rugby debut should he get a run out on Saturday. Jacques van Rooyen will also provide cover off the bench, having been called up from the Vodacom Cup squad.
Due to De Klerk and Jantjies earning starting positions, Ross Cronje and Marnitz Boshoff are the other changes amongst the replacements.
You can see all the action live on Sky Sports 3HD from 8.30am.
Chiefs: 15 Nanai-Williams, 14 Sweeney, 13 Ngatai, 12 Marshall, 11 Lowe, 10 Anscombe, 9 Kerr-Barlow; 1 Manu, 2 Harris, 3 Hohneck, 4 Filipo, 5 Retallick, 6 Latimer, 7 Cane, 8 Liam Messam (c).
Replacements: 16 Schwalger, 17 Mackintosh, 18 Tameifuna, 19 Symons, 20 Fitzgerald, 21 Weber, 22 Aki, 23 Horrell.
Lions: 15 Botha, 14 van Rensburg, 13 Mapoe, 12 Watermeyer, 11 Skosan , 10 Jantjies, 9 de Klerk; 1 S van der Merwe, 2 Coetzee, 3 Redelinghuys, 4 Muller, 5 Mostert, 6 Kriel, 7 Minnie, 8 Whiteley (c).
Replacements: 16 A van der Merwe, 17 van Rooyen, 18 Dreyer, 19 Lusaseni, 20 Britz, 21 Cronje, 22 Boshoff, 23 Jonker.
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|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Bulls|
|17:10||Stormers vs Sharks|
|Friday 13th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Blues|
|11:00||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 14th March|
|03:30||Crusaders vs Lions|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Waratahs|
|08:40||Reds vs Brumbies|
|13:00||Stormers vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Sharks|
|Friday 20th March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Lions|
|Saturday 21st March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Cheetahs|
|15:05||Bulls vs Western Force|
|17:10||Sharks vs Chiefs|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|05:05||Waratahs vs Brumbies|
|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
|Highlanders 20 - 13 Reds|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Sharks 29 - 12 Lions|
|Stormers 27 - 16 Blues|
|Reds 18 - 6 Western Force|
|Highlanders 20 - 26 Crusaders|
|Friday 20th February|
|Bulls 13 - 17 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 28 - 38 Waratahs|
|Chiefs 19 - 17 Brumbies|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Waratahs 13 - 25 Western Force|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Bulls 17 - 29 Stormers|
|Sharks 29 - 35 Cheetahs|
|Blues 18 - 23 Chiefs|
|Friday 13th February|
|Lions 8 - 22 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 47 - 3 Reds|
|Crusaders 10 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com