20 Jun 2015

Rugby fever set to warm up Dunedin

6:19 am on 20 June 2015

Rugby fever has arrived in Otago with the Highlanders set to take on the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight in front of a near capacity crowd.

Highlanders Fans

Highlanders fans will be in full force tonight. Photo: Photosport

The Highlanders' franchise says only 1700 general admission tickets remain, after 20,000 were sold this week.

Coach Jamie Joseph has named a strong starting line up with co-captain Nasi Manu and All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa both being named in the run-on XV.

The Chiefs too have an impressive line up and are hoping the Sonny Bill Williams factor will help them against an in-form and favoured Highlanders team.

Sonny Bill Williams pairs up with his cousin Tim Nanai-Williams in the midfield, as Charlie Ngatai is out due to concussion.

Highlanders Coach Jamie Joseph believes his team can negate the SBW factor.

"Sonny Bill makes an impact with any team he performs for so what that means for us is that we need to make our tackles and stop his off-loading game," he said.

Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium will be humming. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

If there's one thing that might drive the Chiefs harder, is that Hika Elliot is poised to clock up his 100th Super Rugby match provided he takes the field tonight.

Twenty-four year-old Kayne Hammington gets the opportunity to make his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs off the bench. He is joined by new reserves Michael Leitch, Marty McKenzie and Seta Tamanivalu.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 7.35pm