Thompson to start at two in the grand final

Thompson to start at two in the grand final

The Chiefs have fought their way back to Eden Park to meet the Blues in the Super Rugby Pacific Final for the first time.

A sold-out stadium of over 40,000 fans from both sides of the Bombay’s will create an electric atmosphere for the showdown.

“The team are embracing finals week and look forward to what will be a massive occasion for rugby,” said Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan.

“The Blues have impressed with how they have gone about their work, establishing a harder edge under Vern whilst maintaining their ability to hurt you through their explosive backs. I can’t see them wavering from their willingness to kick long, pressure the ball and go to war through the middle of the park, so we at least know what’s coming our way.”

By contrast, the Chiefs have had a rollercoaster season of results but have been dominant in their quarter and semi-final matches against tough opponents.

“We produced some good footy when it mattered and feel battle-hardened for a final. Our leaders have really stepped up, driven our preparation and led by example through their performances.

“It’s unfortunate to have lost some key players through injury, but no team has been immune to this, and you won’t see us worrying about something we can’t control. We are genuinely excited for the players who now get their opportunity. In Tyrone Thompson and Manaaki Selby-Rickit, we have two quality players who will serve the team extremely well," said McMillan.

Thompson shifts into the starting hooker position following last weekend’s injury to Samisoni Taukei’aho and Selby-Rickit comes onto the bench, replacing Naitoa Ah Kuoi. The return of Shaun Stevenson sees Daniel Rona shifted to the reserves to provide impact for the backs.

Chiefs team to face the Blues:
1. Aidan Ross
2. Tyrone Thompson
3. George Dyer
4. Jimmy Tupou
5. Tupou Vaa’i
6. Samipeni Finau
7. Luke Jacobson (captain)
8. Wallace Sititi
9. Cortez Ratima
10. Damian McKenzie
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
12. Rameka Poihipi
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Emoni Narawa
15. Shaun Stevenson

16. Bradley Slater
17. Jared Proffit
18. Reuben O’Neill
19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit
20. Simon Parker
21. Xavier Roe
22. Quinn Tupaea
23. Daniel Rona

Unavailable for selection: Josh Lord, Gideon Wrampling, Kaleb Trask, Malachi Wrampling, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, and Samisoni Taukei’aho.

Latest News