100 up for Chiefs star man Damian McKenzie against the Waratahs

Damian McKenzie will start at fullback in his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Chiefs when they face the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday night.

The creative star made his debut for the club in 2015 and has gone on to win over 800 points for the Chiefs since.

Planet Rugby reports alongside the soon-to-be centurion in the back-three will be winger Etene Nanai-Seturo and Emoni Narawa. Meanwhile, Rameka Poihipi joins Alex Nankivell in the midfield.

Bryn Gatland starts at fly-half alongside one of the co-captains this week, Brad Weber.

Robust pack

Pita Gus Sowakula moves to number eight to allow space for the hard-running Samipeni Finau and co-captain Sam Cane on the flanks.

Manaaki Selby-Rickit joins veteran Brodie Retallick in the second-row whilst Irishman John Ryan starts alongside Aidan Ross and hooker Bradley Slater in the front-row.

Samisoni Taukei’aho starts from the bench alongside Ollie Norris and George Dyer as front-row substitutions. Meanwhile, Naitoa Ah Kuoi and Kaylum Boshier are the other forward options.

Exciting scrum-half Cortez Ratima is joined by Daniel Rona and the prolific Shaun Stevenson as backline options.

Chiefs coach Clayton McMilllian praised McKenzie ahead of his milestone and believes he deserves to join some legends of the game with 100 caps for the Chiefs.

“Damian returned from his time away in Japan and has slotted back into the Gallagher Chiefs seamlessly. He is an outstanding footballer who has an unbelievable skill-set, reads the game well, and is incredibly brave both sides of the ball,” McMillian told the Chiefs’ Official Website.

“Off the field he is an excellent contributor, loved by staff, his peers and our loyal fanbase. We all congratulate him on becoming the latest Gallagher Chief to play 100 games, and sit alongside some of the legends of our game who have achieved this significant milestone.”

The team

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Rameka Poihipi, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (cc), 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (cc), 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 John Ryan, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 George Dyer, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Kaylum Boshier, 21 Cortez Ratima, 22 Daniel Rona, 23 Shaun Stevenson