Messam to mark century against Kings
March 14, 2013
Chiefs captain Liam Messam will play his 100th Super Rugby match in Port Elizabeth © Getty Images
Chiefs captain Liam Messam will not have the joy of playing his 100th Super Rugby game in front of the Waikato Stadium faithful after being named to start against Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Messam has been shifted to the blindside to accommodate four changes to Dave Rennie's starting XV which features journeyman Ross Filipo in the No.8 jersey in his first outing in Chiefs colours.
Messam was initially scheduled to miss the final clash of their South African tour in order to celebrate the milestone in Hamilton against the Highlanders the following week. He will become the first player to reach a century of games for the franchise when he runs onto Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at around 6.10am (NZT).
Other changes to the side that lost 36-34 to the Stormers at Newlands see prop Toby Smith, Michael Fitzgerald, Tanerau Latimer and Andrew Horrell all promoted to the starting line-up.
Hooker Rhys Marshall travelled to the Republic to take his place on the bench after Mahonri Schwalger returned to New Zealand with an knee injury. He will be accompanied by All Blacks Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane.
Prop Pauliasi Manu takes a well-earned break on the bench after starting the first three games. As does Charlie Ngatai, who makes way for Horrell in the No 12 role.
Chiefs: 1. Toby Smith, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Afeaki, 4. Craig Clarke ( C ), 5. Michael Fitzgerald, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 8. Ross Filipo, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Andrew Horrell, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams, 14. Lelia Masaga, 15. Gareth Anscombe. Replacements: 16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Pauliasi Manu, 18. Brodie Retallick, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Augustine Pulu, 21. Charlie Ngatai, 22. Patrick Osborne.