7 Feb 2013

All Black Messam back as Chiefs look to continue winning run

5:31 pm on 7 February 2013

The Chiefs are keen to keep their Super Rugby winning streak going when the champions step out against the Queensland Reds on the Sunshine Coast on Friday night.

After a first-up pre-season win over the Highlanders last weekend in Taupo, the Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam gets his first run, while their other All Blacks will get another hitout after having limited action so far.

Messam played no part in last weekend's 36-14 win over the Highlanders in Taupo.

The Chiefs team announced for their second trial match sees Aaron Cruden, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Hika Elliot and Brodie Retallick all in action again.

Halfback Brendon Leonard is out up to six weeks with a fractured cheek bone and Lelia Masaga has a minor knee injury. Prop Ben Afeaki is also out with an infected foot and Solomoana Sakalia is ill.

Still no Richard Kahui or Robbie Robinson for the Chiefs as they finalise their injury comebacks.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is sure Kerr-Barlow and Cruden will relish their first start, after reserve first five Gareth Anscombe scored two tries and backup halfback August Pulu one against the Highlanders.

Kick-off's around 10pm New Zealand time.

Chiefs: Toby Smith, Mahonri Schwalger, Ben Tameifuna, Brodie Retallick, Ross Filipo, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Fritz Lee, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Andrew Horrell, Charlie Ngatai, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Patrick Osborne, Tim Nanai-Williams, Hika Elliot, Michael Kainga, Michael Fitzgerald, Tanerau Latimer, August Pulu, Gareth Anscombe, Bundee Aki, Maritino Nemani, Matthew Vant Leven, Nick Crosswell, Pauliasi Manu