x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kahui returns for the Chiefs

The New Zealand international returns for the Chiefs match with Western Force but Mils Muliaina is still out injured.

Richard Kahui will return to the Chiefs starting line-up for their Super 14 match against the Western Force, but his fellow New Zealand international Mils Muliaina remains on the injured list. Kahui has missed the past two games with a hip injury but passed a fitness test today to reclaim his midfield berth for Friday's match in Hamilton. His inclusion is the only change to the backline from the 22-15 loss to the Sharks last weekend. Muliaina has not fully recovered from a back strain he suffered while getting up from his seat in a team video session, although the coach Ian Foster said his skipper was progressing well. Foster has been forced to rejig his pack with Sione Lauaki ruled out because of a hamstring strain.

Tanerau Latimer moves to the blindside, opening the way for Serge Lilo to earn his first starting spot in the number seven jersey while captain Liam Messam goes to No 8. In the front row, Ben May returns at loosehead prop alongside Aled de Malmanche and James McGougan. The Chiefs have yet to win after three rounds of the tournament but have picked up a bonus point from each match. "We have made progress but it is essential we build on the standards we have set and continue to improve for this encounter," Foster said. The Western Force are fourth on the table after bouncing back from a round-one loss to the Blues with victories against the Cheetahs and Brumbies.

Squad: Sosene Anesi; Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Callum Bruce, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Stephen Donald, Brendon Leonard; Ben May, Aled de Malmanche, James McGougan, Craig Clarke, Kevin O'Neill, Tanerau Latimer, Serge Lilo, Liam Messam (captain). Replacements: Hika Elliot, Joe Savage, Toby Lynn, Colin Bourke, Toby Morland, Mike Delany, Jackson Willison. *PA Sport