Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has made just two changes to the starting fifteen which defeated the Crusaders to face the Lions.
In the forwards, Maama Vaipulu gets the start at number eight, with Tom Sanders moving to blindside flanker. In the backs, Latu Vaeno gets his first start on the right wing, with Shaun Stevenson forced to sit out the game due to a minor shoulder complaint.
In the reserves, Japan captain Michael Leitch is expected to make his highly anticipated return to Super Rugby, while former Warrior Glen Fisiiahi looks set to earn his first Super Rugby cap from the bench.
Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie: “This is a big game for us. We play the Currie Cup Champions, a side who were unlucky not to make the Super Rugby play-offs last year.
"While we were happy with the attitude and effort against the Crusaders, we know we can be more clinical and have learnt a lot about ourselves.
"It’s nice to get a bit of continuity from a selection point of view for our first outing at home.”
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Latu Vaeno, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (c), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Mitchell Graham, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Michael Leitch, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Glen Fisiiahi
Date: Saturday, March 5
Venue: FMG Stadium, Waikato
Kick-off: 17:15 local (04:15 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Referees: Nick Briant, Angus Mabey
TMO: Aaron Paterson