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Investec Super Rugby is back for 2018 in the best possible fashion with a fierce New Zealand derby in Christchurch against the Crusaders to kick off the Gallagher Chiefs 2018 season!

Head Coach Colin Cooper has selected a physical and experienced lineup to set the benchmark for the sides' 2018 campaign. The starting fifteen features five 2017 All Blacks in the forward pack alone, as well as the much-talked about combination of Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie in the number nine and ten jerseys.

“Everyone is talking about Damian, but it’s just about giving him time at ten. Brad is coming off injury, but played really well in the preseason and shows a lot of excitement if he can get into space”, said Colin Cooper.

The pack is looking strong and competitive with a tight five of Aidan Ross, Nathan Harris, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick and Dominic Bird. "Mitchell Brown had a very good game against the Brumbies [in last weeks' preseason match] and brings a lot of physicality. Sam Cane is an All Black with proven leadership, and a hard worker. Taleni Seu is new at number eight, but I like his skill, speed and power off the back of the scrum”.

The midfield combination of Johnny Faauli and Anton Lienert-Brown is strong, and the back three of Solomon Alaimalo, Shaun Stevenson, and Co-Captain Charlie Ngatai is particularly exciting for what they each bring to the field.

The Gallagher Chiefs and the Crusaders have had quite the opening round history, facing off against each other three times in the last decade in Christchurch. They played in 2009 (Crusaders won 19-13), 2014 (Chiefs won 18-10), 2016 (Chiefs won 27-21), and now this weekend, which is eagerly awaited throughout the country.

Colin Cooper cannot wait to get the campaign started, saying: “We know it has to happen - we have to play down in Christchurch this year, so playing the Crusaders first, we’re not daunted by it, we’re excited by it, going to Christchurch and their back yard”.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Crusaders in Christchurch is:

1.            Aidan Ross

2.            Nathan Harris

3.            Nepo Laulala

4.            Brodie Retallick

5.            Dominic Bird

6.            Mitchell Brown

7.            Sam Cane - Captain

8.            Taleni Seu

9.            Brad Weber

10.          Damian McKenzie

11.          Solomon Alaimalo

12.          Johnny Faauli

13.          Anton Lienert-Brown

14.          Shaun Stevenson

15.          Charlie Ngatai - Captain


16.          Liam Polwart

17.          Atunaisa Moli

18.          Angus Ta’avao

19.          Liam Messam

20.          Lachlan Boshier

21.          Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

22.          Marty McKenzie

23.          Sean Wainui

Experienced director Tonia Cawood has been announced as the new Chair of the Chiefs Rugby Club Board. Current Chair Dallas Fisher will step down from the role on 16 March.

Cawood is an independent chartered director involved in a wide variety of organisations in the sporting, manufacturing and aged care sectors. A current Chiefs board member, she brings a great breadth of expertise and governance knowledge to the role.

Starting off as a Sports Marketing Executive, Tonia went on to be Sponsorship Manager and then Marketing Manager at adidas New Zealand where she gained valuable knowledge in professional sports and sports marketing. She then started her own business advisory company, Pro-ject Management, which has faithfully served clients locally and nationally over the last sixteen years. She is a Director at several renowned organisations including Rowing NZ, Tidd Ross Todd Limited and Alandale Lifecare Limited.

Tonia spoke about leading the board to continue the immense contribution Dallas had put into the role.

“I look forward to the privilege of working with our quality Board, with the Chief Executive Michael Collins, Chiefs Rugby Club staff, and our many stakeholders to continue our strong progression on the field, within our community, and financially. Dallas has made a monumental contribution as Chairman for the past 15 years, and has navigated the Club through its most significant changes. His passion and commercial nous have built a robust commercial platform and we are grateful to have him remain on the Board as an Independent Director.”

Dallas has been involved with the Chiefs Rugby Club since its inception at the beginning of Super Rugby in 1996. He has been on the Board since 2003.

During this time, Dallas has directed the Chiefs Rugby Club with innovation and boldness. There are many impressive results of his leadership, including appointing Dave Rennie as Head Coach, under whose leadership the team went on to win back to back Investec Super Rugby titles; the historic win over international opponents Wales in 2016; being the first Club to take a home game offshore which saw Fiji as host for two consecutive years; and entering into a unique high performance partnership with the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

Dallas was also involved in negotiating the seven year license granted in 2013 by New Zealand Rugby to run the organization with private investors, combining 50/50 with provincial unions.

Chair of NZ Rugby and past Chiefs board member Brett Impey, said that Dallas’ enthusiasm is infectious and has carried through to the whole Chiefs organisation.

“What impressed me on first meeting Dallas was his drive and energy and plus 100% commitment to the Chiefs”, said Impey.

“He led the transformation of the Chiefs by introducing a range of private investors along with the involvement of the provincial unions. Dallas has managed the transition from provincial union to a mixed ownership model extremely well and the introduction of Taranaki to the consortium has also added huge value to the Chiefs both on and off the field”.

We’re thankful that Dallas will remain on the Board and involved in special projects.

Exciting news Chiefs fans! Sam Cane and Charlie Ngatai have been named as co-captains for the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season.

Sam Cane has co-captained the team for the past two seasons, helping him to further develop his impressive leadership skills. The 26 year old is part of the All Blacks leadership group and has thrived in a leadership role at the Gallagher Chiefs alongside Aaron Cruden who departed to France at the end of the 2017 season.

The loose forward has notched up 95 caps for the team, and was part of the sides who won the 2012 & 2013 Investec Super Rugby titles. A relentless hard worker, Sam always leads from the front and the consistency he brings to the field is a huge asset to the team.

Charlie Ngatai has strong leadership experience, including captaining the Maori All Blacks and Taranaki Bulls provincial side. A fan favourite amongst Chiefs Country, Ngatai has 43 caps to his name. Impressive performances earned the midfielder a spot in the All Blacks where he made his debut against Samoa in 2015.

The 27 year old joined the Gallagher Chiefs in 2013 and won the Investec Super Rugby title in his maiden season with the club. Known for his quick feet and dazzling skills, Charlie has lit up the field with fantastic performances over his four seasons with the team.

We take on the Crusaders in Christchurch this Saturday for the opening game of the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season! Our first home game is against the Bulls at FMG Stadium Waikato on Friday 16 March and we’d love to see you there.

YOU can join our team this season and support the team and our two co-captains with a 2018 Chiefs membership. Click here for all the details and to choose the best membership for you!


The Gallagher Chiefs will play their final pre-season match on Wednesday, just a short way up the coast from the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens which took place over the weekend.

A twenty nine man team has been named, including a first run out of the year for some of the All Blacks players. Although in a perfect holiday destination, the players have been focused and working hard on building the right kind of momentum into the Investec Super Rugby season.

The match kicks off at 7pm on 14 February at the Sunshine Coast Stadium and tickets are still available at www.ticketek.com.au.

See the team list below:
1. Atunaisa Moli
2. Liam Polwart
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Dominic Bird
6. Mitchell Brown
7. Sam Cane (cc)
8. Taleni Seu
9. Brad Weber
10. Damian McKenzie
11. Solomon Alaimalo
12. Alex Nankivell
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Tim Nanai-Williams
15. Shaun Stevenson

Reserves: Kane Hames, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Angus Ta’avao
Aidan Ross, Michael Allardice, Lachlan Boshier, Liam Messam, Mitchell Karpik, Luke Jacobson, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Marty McKenzie, Tiaan Falcon, Johnny Fa’auli, Charlie Ngatai (cc).

Chiefs Country is ready for an action-packed weekend of rugby entertainment with the Sevens kicking off at FMG Stadium Waikato tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued patience with the membership packs that have been delivered throughout January. We have been in contact with all of our members who have enquired about the whereabouts of their packs. If you haven't heard from us yet, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 0800 4 CHIEFS so we can sort this for you. We are working through all enquiries, so if you are awaiting a response, you will hear from us as soon as possible.

We will have a representative specifically to service Chiefs Member ticketing queries at the Gate 1 Ticket Office at FMG Stadium Waikato during peak entry times on Saturday and Sunday. Should you have any questions about your Sevens tickets or membership please enquire there.


Wristbands will be available to be picked up from the Garden Place Sevens Fanzone today from 12pm-7pm tonight. You do not need to worry, as you can also pick up your wristbands from the gate tomorrow as you enter the stadium. Click here for all information on the Sevens cashless initiative.

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Sam Cane
Full Name: Sam Cane
Team: Chiefs
Position:Loose forward
Super Rugby Games:95
Super Rugby Points:60 (12t)
Super Rugby Debut:2011 v Lions in Johannesburg
Province:Bay of Plenty
Provincial Games:19
Provincial Points:25 (5t)
Provincial Debut:2010 v Auckland in Mt Maunganui
Test Caps:50
Test Points:60 (12t)
Test Debut:2012 v Ireland in Christchurch
Facebook ID:456670991114990
Twitter Username:SamCane7
Youtube:Sam Cane

"A player with immense talent and leadership qualities, Sam has been a vital member of the squad for the past seven seasons. Sam has been co-captain of the team with Aaron for the past two seasons."- The Chiefs

Sam enters his seventhseason with the Chiefs and is a key part of the team’s leadership.  On the back of a stellar Super Rugby season in 2016 he collected  the Chiefs Players’ Player of the Year and showed many mature performances in his role as co-captain.   

The talented loose forward has won two Investec Super Rugby titles, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a U20 Junior World Championship gold medal and is a former New Zealand Rugby Age Group Player of the Year.

If you weren’t a rugby player, what would you be doing?
Guitarist in a rock band

Who was your favourite player as a kid?
Jeff Wilson

What event would you go to the Olympics for … No sevens allowed!
Beach Volleyball

Favourite sportsperson outside rugby?
Roger Federer

Forwards- What position would you put yourself in the backline and why?
Backs- What position would you put yourself in the forward pack and why?

Second Five

What’s your go to meal in the kitchen?
Creamy Chicken Fettucine

What’s your mum’s best meal for her boy?
Roast Lamb

Who is the best singer in the team?
Nathan Harris

Favourite movie quote?
Life is a game of inches, so is football –Al Pacino-Any given Sunday

What would you spend your last $10 on?
Two handles of beer for me and a mate


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