Chiefs happy to roll with punches
Dave Rennie

Most Super Rugby sides would struggle going into a three-match tour with five backs and two forwards on the injury list.

Not the Chiefs, who clash with Western Force at nib Stadium on Saturday night.

The loss of midfield pair Robbie Fruean and Charlie Ngatai during the five-try demolition of the Stormers last Friday night added to the champions' injury woes.

But Chiefs coach Dave Rennie still has a host of options. Andrew Horrell is likely to fill one centre spot, with All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina, Tim Nanai- Williams and Tom Marshall all in the mix for the other.

Rennie has already used 30 players in three matches and, perhaps boosted by seemingly endless depth and combinations, says he does not dwell on player losses.

"We've got five backs sitting at home and a couple of forwards," Rennie said.

"Certainly it would stretch most teams. You've just got to deal with that.

"We don't tend to talk so much about who we haven't got, it's more who we have got. We've got a lot of flexibility in our group.

"Guys play multiple positions so when you get a few dings we can shuffle some guys around. They understand the roles.

"We tweak things depending on who we are playing and where we think there's some oppor- tunity, but ultimately there's not a massive change in mindset.

"We're always setting high expectations. We tend to play a pretty attractive style, we're pretty positive and that certainly won't change.

"You've got to share the load. We've tended over the last couple of years to rotate the boys, share the workload.

"We've got really good depth because of that."

In another show of strength, Rennie has All Black flanker Sam Cane and prop Ben Afeaki returning from injury and hinted that Cane would start on the bench.

The Chiefs, New Zealand's only unbeaten team, fly to South Africa to take on the Bulls and Cheetahs after the Force game.

Rennie knows the dangers the WA side poses for touring teams.

The Chiefs have beaten the Force by a combined nine points in their past two meetings.

"There are lots of Kiwi sides that have been rolled by the Force either on their way to Africa or on their way home," Rennie said.

"We are well aware of that. We've battled against them in the last couple of years, but they are a better side than they have been the last couple of years."

DID YOU KNOW? 30 Number of players used by Chiefs coach Dave Rennie in three Super Rugby matches

The West Australian

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