Hurricanes face Super Rugby litmus test against Chiefs

The Hurricanes' resurgence in Super Rugby Pacific will be put to the test against a rested Chiefs side when the New Zealand heavyweights collide on Saturday afternoon.

The Hurricanes topped the table with a 29-14 win at the Highlanders last weekend while the Chiefs had a bye, setting up a blockbuster at Sky Stadium between the top two sides in the competition.

Jason Holland's Hurricanes will look to extend their winning streak to five for the first time since the 2020 season and shrug off any lingering doubts about their title credentials.

They have not defeated any of the major contenders this campaign but now have their chance against the unbeaten Chiefs in a match rescheduled to the afternoon due to a lighting problem at the venue.

"We need to be physical and accurate in everything we do to enable us to play our style of rugby to win this weekend," said Holland.

The Chiefs have bulked up their back row with the addition of flanker Pita Sowakula, one of three changes to the side that beat the Blues 20-13 in Hamilton two weeks ago to secure a record 6-0 start for the season.

The Chiefs are fresh and eager to get "back into the grind," said coach Clayton McMillan.

"It will be a real arm wrestle and one I know both teams will be up for."

The match will be the 300th first class game for the Hurricanes' evergreen All Blacks hooker Dane Coles.

Much hyped at the start of the season, the rebuilding New South Wales Waratahs are languishing at 11th on the table with a 1-5 record and are no guarantee of improving that when they close out the round against fellow strugglers Western Force (2-4) at home on Saturday.