Chiefs

Chiefs lose Fa'auli for 4 weeks, Cane awaits clearance

Cane has been included in the 27-man squad to tour South Africa and Australia over the next three rounds however they won't be available for next weekend's match against the Stormers in Cape Town.

If cleared to tour, Cane will fly to South Africa on Thursday and begin preparing for the Chiefs' following match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

The news was bleaker for prop Nepo Laulala who, like Cane, was forced from the field with a head knock suffered during the 28-12 defeat of the Bulls in Hamilton on Saturday.

Injuries never got Hames down

"You don't always rise to the expectations but you fall to the level of your training," the Chiefs prop said.

It's almost a year since Hames started training with the Chiefs and from April to August, the 28-year-old rapidly progressed from playing club rugby for Hamilton Marist to winning his first and only All Blacks cap against the Wallabies in Sydney.

Hame admits improving on that figure lingers in the back of his mind and it was always a dream to wear the black jersey despite injuries plaguing his career.

Messam to win 150th Chiefs cap

The Chiefs' most capped player will win his 150th cap for the franchise he's played for since 2006, when he starts at blindside flanker in round six of Super Rugby.

No 8 Michael Leitch returns from his one-match suspension to join Messam and Sam Cane in the back row; Siegfried Fisi'ihoi replaces Kane Hames (minor ankle knock) at loosehead prop as the forward pack shuffles for Saturday night's battle with the Bulls. 

McKenzie's move brings Chiefs changes

McKenzie will have veteran Stephen Donald outside him at second-five, with Anton Lienert-Brown shifting out to start at centre in Melbourne for the table-toppers, following their third win on the trot when they saw off the Hurricanes in Hamilton last Friday.

Twenty-one year-old Northland outside back Solomon Alaimalo will make his Super Rugby debut on the left wing while Shaun Stevenson will start at fullback.

Assistant coach Neil Barnes said McKenzie "prefers to play 10" and this week was a chance for him to impress with regular first-five Aaron Cruden on the bench.

Kerr-Barlow latest All Black off to France

The 26-year-old has played 25 Tests for the All Blacks.

"I'm excited to announce that the next chapter of my rugby career will be with La Rochelle in France," he said.

"It was an extremely hard decision to make, but I feel it is the right one for my family and myself. I've always wanted to play rugby in New Zealand and to represent teams like Waikato and the Chiefs which is where my family comes from. It was a childhood dream of mine to become an All Black and it has been a privilege to represent my country."

Milner-Skudder out for Saturday

Beyond that, there's very little we can tell you about the Hurricanes fullback and the foot he injured in Friday's 26-18 loss to the Chiefs. Milner-Skudder's in a moon boot – but not a bad mood, apparently – and had scans of his foot taken on Monday.

What they revealed remains unclear, though.

"Not a sure update yet, we're still waiting for results," Hurricanes backs coach Jason Holland said on Monday afternoon.

"Obviously he was in a bit of pain the other night and is struggling for this weekend, but we're still waiting for the results."

One week ban for Michael Leitch

The Japanese international was the third player to be yellow carded during the match after his 77th minute high shot on Hurricanes reserve hooker Ricky Riccitelli.

The Chiefs won the match 26-18.

Leitch was cited after the match and pleaded guilty at his hearing with the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee on Sunday.

His one week suspension means he misses the Chiefs' round four matches in Melbourne.

It follows on from World Rugby's hard stance on high tackles.

In the past a similar tackle would have not been cited.

Chiefs too good for defending champs

Tries from lock Brodie Retallick and winger Toni Pulu in the first half as well as 16 points from the faultless boot of fullback Damian McKenzie kept intact the 100 percent record of the twice former champions after three matches.

The Hurricanes had scored in 24 tries and 154 points in their first two outings of the campaign but were unable to reproduce their high-intensity attack in such poor conditions against New Zealand opposition.

Elliot: Chiefs forwards firing

The 31-year-old hooker, set to win his 107th Chiefs cap against the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday, believes they're 'firing beyond' from where they were 12 months ago after two dominant displays against the Highlanders and the Blues.

Kane Hames and Nepo Laulala will start either side of Elliot in the front row for the third successive game, which is the only consistency in selection the Chiefs have stuck with in their forwards this season.

Steven Luatua outed for four weeks after his dangerous high shot in Chiefs game.

Luatua hit Nanai-Williams with a late, swinging arm off the ball that earned him a red card just before halftime in the Super Rugby clash in Hamilton on Friday night.

A Sanzaar foul play review committee suspended him from all forms of the game up to and including Saturday, April 1.

Luatua had pleaded guilty to dangerous tackling of an opponent.

The committee, headed by Christchurch QC Nigel Hampton, said they had looked at all the available evidence , including all camera angles, and had heard evidence from Luatua and his lawyer before upholding the charge.