Chiefs ring the changes

Super Rugby champions the Chiefs have picked a new look backline to defend their title in Saturday’s semi-final against the Crusaders.

It’s a repeat of a year ago when the Chiefs edged the Saders in Hamilton, but the backline looks very different.

The Saders have stuck with the same run on XV that destroyed the Reds. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is among the reserves for the second successive weekend following a six month sabbatical.

McCaw, who played 15 minutes against the Reds, is expected to get at least 30 against the Chiefs.

The Saders smashed the Chiefs the last time the two teams met in Christchurch.

Chiefs – 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Mike Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 August Pulu, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Robbie Robinson.

Crusaders – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Subs: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Luke Whitelock, 19 Richie McCaw, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Adam Whitelock