In the Chiefs midfield, centre Mark Ranby returns, having recovered from a groin injury and will take the field alongside Derek Maisey at second five-eighths.
Other backline changes from last week sees Adrian Cashmore starting at fullback against his former team, with Loki Crichton moving to the wing. Sailosi Tagicakibau has missed the 22-man cut.
Coach Ian Foster says the Crichton-Cashmore combination is a good opportunity to get two experienced players on the park and to improve the defensive structures in this area of the Chiefs game.
Foster added it is pleasing to have Ranby back in the frame earlier than expected for the Chiefs first home game of the Rebel Sport Super 12.
�I was also keen to add another decision maker to the midfield and we have that with Derek,� Foster said. � We were lacking a bit of direction in this area last week, so I�m keen to see Derek show he can add something to the Chiefs midfield approach.�
Meanwhile, in the forwards Foster has made only one change from last week, starting Sione Lauaki at blindside flanker ahead of Wayne Ormond. Lauaki was the Chiefs hero of last year�s clash against the Blues when he scored a late try in the 27-20 victory at Eden Park.
�Sione and Wayne are both physical rugby players. Sione has not had a lot of games in the preseason, or a lot of game time to date, so him starting this week is simply a matter of managing these two players.�
The Chiefs team is:
Simms Davison, Scott Linklater, Deacon Manu, Jono Gibbes (captain), Sean Hohneck, Sione Lauaki, Marty Holah, Steven Bates, Byron Kelleher, David Hill, Loki Crichton, Derek Maisey, Mark Ranby, Sosene Anesi, Adrian Cashmore. Reserves: Aleki Lutui, Ben Castle, Bernie Upton, Wayne Ormond, Kevin, Senio, Stephen Donald, Grant McQuoid.