Loosehead prop Reuben O’Neill joins the starting front row in place of starting loosehead prop Aidan Ross who has been side-lined with a calf strain following last weekend’s clash against the Highlanders. The Gallagher Chiefs elusive backline remains unchanged.
In the reserves, young prop Ollie Norris joins the twenty-three alongside Taranaki halfback Lisati Milo-Harris.
Loose forward Adam Thomson will don jersey nineteen for his 100th Investec Super Rugby appearance.
Gatland said the side have once again prepared well for the derby.
“Last weekend we had the opportunity to finish the job off, but as we have seen in this competition you need to deliver an 80-minute performance, or longer in some instances and we didn’t do that. This week we are looking for that consistency, starting strong once again and then continuing to stay in the game and maintain our focus on what we can control.”
1. Reuben O’Neill 2. Bradley Slater 3. Nepo Laulala 4. Tupou Vaa’i 5. Mitchell Brown 6. Lachlan Boshier 7. Sam Cane © 8. Pita Gus Sowakula 9. Brad Weber 10. Kaleb Trask 11.Solomon Alaimalo 12. Alex Nankivell 13. Anton Lienert-Brown 14. Sean Wainui 15. Damian McKenzie
Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ollie Norris, Ross Geldenhuys, Adam Thomson, Mitchell Karpik, Lisati Milo-Harris, Aaron Cruden, Quinn Tupaea