Sam Cane will go head to head with Richie McCaw in a battle between apprentice and master when Super Rugby leaders the Chiefs host the Crusaders in Hamilton.

The 20-year-old Cane, who made his All Blacks debut in the June series against Ireland, will wear the Chiefs' No.7 jersey in a much-anticipated match on Friday night, with the fifth-placed Crusaders looking to keep their playoff hopes intact.

Test skipper McCaw, New Zealand's most capped All Black with 106 appearances, is back as the openside flanker, after covering for the-then injured Kieran Read at No.8 last week.

Cane's inclusion for Tanerau Latimer, who goes to the bench, is one of four changes to the Chiefs' starting 15.

Try-scoring prop Sona Taumalolo returns to the No.1 jersey in a swap with Toby Smith, who drops to the reserves, while at No.8 Alex Bradley replaces Kane Thompson, who has a back injury.

Andrew Horrell, who started on the bench in his return last weekend from a calf injury, comes in at centre, with Robbie Robinson retaining the fullback spot that Horrell previously held.

Chiefs: Robbie Robinson, Tim Nanai-Williams, Andrew Horrell, Sonny Bill Williams, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Alex Bradley, Sam Cane, Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick, Craig Clarke (capt), Ben Tameifuna, Mahonri Schwalger, Sona Taumalolo. Res: Hika Elliot, Toby Smith, Romana Graham, Tanerau Latimer, Brendon Leonard, Jackson Willison, Lelia Masaga.

NZ Newswire

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