20 Jun 2017

Chiefs look to play expansive game

11:20 am on 20 June 2017

The Chiefs admit it may not be easy to play their expansive brand of rugby against the British and Irish Lions at Waikato stadium tonight.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coach Dave Rennie says the Chiefs intend to stick to the high speed, open game they've used successfully in their Super 12 season.

But says he's well aware of the way the Lions defence strangled the attacking flair out of the Maori All Blacks in their 32-10 victory in Rotorua on Saturday.

"We like to use the ball. We try and play a high tempo, high skill game of footy and the Lions have been excellent at choking teams from doing that so we've got a few challenges ahead of us."

Lions coach Warren Gatland says he's expecting an open, attacking game from the Chiefs and the game is a chance for his midweek team to build on the Rotorua victory.

Ben Te'o makes a break for the Lions.

Ben Te'o makes a break for the Lions. Photo: Photosport

He says a number of combinations still need to be settled for Saturday's All Black test and he's picking a competitive edge to his mid-week players tonight.

"If you look back to the 2013 tour in Australia we made nine changes between the three tests.

Players have to stay on form, be confident and these players are up for it."

Gatlands comments have been echoed by the Lions captain for tonight's game Irish hooker Rory Best.

Best said with injury cover and bench spots up for grabs, there will be no drop off in intensity.

"We have a chance to build momentum into the weekend and we have a chance to get excited about playing for the Lions against a top side."

Gatland, who played 140 games for Waikato and also helped coach the Chiefs, said taking the Lions to Waikato stadium tonight will be a special moment on this tour.

"If you cut me open I'd probably bleed red, yellow and black.

"I'm very proud of my roots and looking forward to what will be a great occasion."