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

RESERVES:

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.

CASHLESS EVENT: 

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.

The Gallagher Chiefs are going back to the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens next week - lugging along with them the title trophy they won last year - with a title defence on the line. A squad of 24 players has been announced, which will be led by experienced All Blacks Liam Messam and Tim Nanai-Williams as co-captains, for two full and exciting days of rugby tens action.

The players have all been working really hard throughout the preseason, and are no doubt excited to get some expansive rugby on the legs when the tournament kicks off at Suncorp Stadium on 9 and 10 February.

Head Coach Colin Cooper said, "We really look forward to arriving in Brisbane, and letting our players loose, with an opportunity to show the coaches what they can do leading into the Investec Super Rugby competition. The tens format exposes the work rate, athleticism, and defensive skill of the players.”

After the Gallagher Chiefs defend their title at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, some more players will arrive to prepare for another preseason fixture against the Brumbies on 14 February at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, kickoff at 7pm.

Tickets for the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and the Gallagher Chiefs preseason match against the Brumbies are available from www.ticketek.com.au

The Gallagher Chiefs Brisbane Global Rugby Tens Squad is:

Aidan Ross
Liam Polwart
Sosefo Kautai
Michael Allardice
Lachlan McWhannel
Mitchell Brown
Mitchell Karpik
Liam Mess-am
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
Marty Mckenzie
Solomon Alaimalo
Charlie Ngatai
Tim Nanai-Williams
Toni Pulu
Shaun Stevenson
Samisoni Taukei’aho
Angus Ta’avao
Atunaisa Moli
Taleni Seu
Lachlan Boshier
Jonathan Taumateine
Tiaan Falcon
Johnny Fa’auli
Alex Nankivell

Exciting back Solomon Alaimalo has re-signed with the Gallagher Chiefs for a further three years.

The 2017 Rookie Player of the Year had an impressive debut season in 2017, impressing the coaches with some eye-catching performances.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach was thrilled to have Solomon extend his time with the club.

“We’re really excited to have Solomon commit to the Gallagher Chiefs again. He is a special player with a massive future. I am especially excited to work with him for the next three years.”

Chief #284 has played nine games for the Gallagher Chiefs, scoring two tries. 

Tickets to our first hit out of pre-season against northern neighbours the Blues are on sale now.

The game will be played at Rugby Park, Te Kuiti with both teams fighting it out for the Farmlands Rural Legends Shield.

This is your first chance to see the new-look Gallagher Chiefs team in 2018, so get your tickets now here!

GAME DETAILS:

Gallagher Chiefs v Blues, Friday 2 February, 4pm, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti. 

We have today confirmed our venues for the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season, where we’ll play seven thrilling home games at FMG Stadium Waikato, as well as bringing an Investec Super Rugby clash to Rotorua International Stadium.

For the first time since 2013, FMG Stadium Waikato will host all four action-packed New Zealand derbies. We have back to back games against the Highlanders and Blues in rounds seven and eight, before taking on the defending champs the Crusaders in round 16 and the Hurricanes in the last round robin game of the season.

The team will host the Jaguares, Argentina’s only Super Rugby team, at Rotorua International Stadium on Friday 4 May. It will be the first time the two sides meet on Chiefs Country turf and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to return to play a match in front of their passionate Bay of Plenty supporters.

The club had planned to hold the Blues match at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. Unfortunately, following recent developments in regards to the structure of the East Stand at Yarrow Stadium and due to the time constraints to ensure their facilities meet code requirements, it was deemed necessary to relocate this game. The Blues match will now be at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday 7 April. Yarrow Stadium and we will be working closely together to offer our great Taranaki supporters some exclusive offers and travel packages to enable them to experience a live home match in Hamilton. The team are looking forward to visiting our Taranaki supporters and whanau in 2018.

Other home games include a visit from the Pretoria based Bulls for the first home game of the season at FMG Stadium Waikato, as well as two exciting trans-Tasman clashes against the Waratahs and Brumbies in Round 15 and 18 respectively.

“It is an exciting line up of opposition teams with a good mix of playing styles that the Gallagher Chiefs will face at all home venues in 2018. We are really looking forward to playing in Rotorua and are excited to connect with all our supporters around Chiefs Country this coming season”, incoming Chief Executive Michael Collins said.

Michael said it is disappointing not to be playing in New Plymouth in 2018.

“The Chiefs have played 6 home games at Yarrow Stadium over the last four years and we look forward to working with Yarrow Stadium and Taranaki Rugby once they have more clarity regarding the immediate future of the East Stand”

The squad will kick off their season in Christchurch against the 2017 Title winners the BNZ Crusaders, before facing the Blues in Auckland. We will also have a preseason encounter with the Blues when we host them in Te Kuiti for the Farmlands Rural Legends Shield preseason match in Te Kuiti on Friday 2 February.

Chiefs memberships are now on sale. Secure your seats now to watch some of the best rugby players go head-to-head in the 2018 Investec Super Rugby competition. Purchasing a Chiefs membership is the ONLY way to secure HSBC New Zealand Sevens tickets, so make sure you lock your tickets in and get a feast of rugby in 2018. There are many fantastic benefits on offer and exciting experiences to be had as a member. Get yours today here. 

2018 Home Fixtures

Farmlands Rural Legends Shield Preseason Match: Gallagher Chiefs v Blues, Friday 2 February, 4pm, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti
Gallagher Chiefs v Bulls, Friday 16 March, 7:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
Gallagher Chiefs v Highlanders, Friday 30 March, 7:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
Gallagher Chiefs v Blues, Saturday 7 April, 7:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
Gallagher Chiefs v Jaguares, Friday 4 May, 7:35pm, Rotorua International Stadium
Gallagher Chiefs v Waratahs, Saturday 26 May, 7:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
Gallagher Chiefs v Crusaders, Saturday 2 June, 7:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
Gallagher Chiefs v Brumbies, Saturday 7 July, 5:15pm, FMG Stadium Waikato
Gallagher Chiefs v Hurricanes, Friday 13 July, 7:35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

With the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season only a few months away, Chiefs Major Sponsor, Aon has re-signed with the club for a further term.

Aon, a long-time Sponsor of the two-time Investec Super Rugby champions have recently renewed their support of the club, further cementing their position as a strong supporter of high performance sport in New Zealand.

Aon’s CEO Geoff Blampied said: “We are excited to continue our support as a long term partner of the Chiefs Rugby Club. Aon New Zealand has a strong record of backing sportspeople, teams and organisations across New Zealand and we look forward to connecting with you, the fans and supporters, over the upcoming Super Rugby season.”

Aon will continue to be on the front of the Gallagher Chiefs training jersey.

Chiefs Chairman Dallas Fisher reflects on the synergies between the Aon business and the jersey’s unique story.

“The jersey is symbolic of care, preparation and hard work that must be invested to achieve success. These are values we believe Aon share with the Chiefs Rugby Club and we are excited to be extending our partnership with a business who has such strong ties to all our Chiefs communities and rural areas”.

The 2018 Aon training jersey launches on the 1st December 2017 alongside the highly anticipated Gallagher Chiefs home and away jerseys. It is the first time all three jerseys will have their own unique design and their own story.

Farmlands Co-operative have teamed up with the Gallagher Chiefs to bring top flight rugby to Te Kuiti on 2nd February.

The Farmlands Rural Legends Shield will pit the two-time Investec Super Rugby champions, the Gallagher Chiefs, against three-time winners the Blues at Te Kuiti’s Rugby Park. The game, which kicks off at 4.00pm, is an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution rural New Zealand has played in shaping our national sport.

Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Colin Cooper says the team is looking forward to visiting the proud rugby town, in what will be their first pre-season match prior to the Investec Super Rugby season.

“It’s a great opportunity to integrate the new coaching group together, as well as bring some of the new Chiefs into the playing squad and help them get match ready,” he says. “It is great to be working with Farmlands to connect with our rural communities and we are excited to meet our supporters in Te Kuiti.”

Farmlands Chief Executive Peter Reidie says the game will be played on the same park that produced King Country grassroots heroes like the Meads brothers and Paul Mitchell.

“We’ve worked with the Gallagher Chiefs to bring this game to Te Kuiti, as it is the home of one of New Zealand’s greatest ever rugby legends,” he says. “Farmlands was created by and continues to service rural communities just like Te Kuiti. It’s an honour to bring the Rural Legends Shield to town and I hope the local community enjoys seeing this new generation of heroes up close.”

Tickets will be available exclusively to Farmlands shareholders initially, first through an in-store promotion at selected locations. Exclusive pre-sale tickets will be available to Farmlands shareholders from 1st December, before any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public in January.

 We are in the process of confirming our competition game venues and we will be announcing this shortly.

The CEO of Taranaki Rugby, Michael Collins has been appointed the new Chief Executive of the Chiefs Rugby Club, Chairman, Dallas Fisher announced today.

Michael Collins will take up the role on 18 December 2017 following the departure of CEO, Andrew Flexman.

Collins, 43, has been at the helm of Taranaki Rugby since 2013 and leaves after a stellar 2017 season for Taranaki, who won the Ranfurly Shield and were top qualifiers in the Mitre 10 Cup premiership. He joined Taranaki Rugby in 2008 as the union’s rugby development manager and was also the national provincial championship team’s scrum coach for several seasons.

At a national level, Collins has been involved in the progression of the sport with the NZRFU Respect and Responsibility Review and the Collective Employment Agreement Sub Committees.

Collins, an experienced business leader, rugby coach and player, began his professional rugby career at the Chiefs in 1997 and captained the side in 1999. During his time as CEO, Taranaki Rugby invested in the Chiefs franchise, and through that agreement has hosted regular Super Rugby matches at Yarrow Stadium.

Chiefs Chairman, Dallas Fisher said that after an extensive executive recruitment process the board was delighted to welcome Collins as the Chiefs new CEO.

“He’s a proven and respected CEO and leader who brings both strong business acumen and a high performance sports background to this role. Michael has built an excellent reputation as a leader in professional sport in New Zealand and we’ve had the opportunity to observe his tenure at Taranaki since 2013 with the close ties between the Chiefs and Taranaki Rugby.

“We look forward to welcoming Michael back to the Chiefs and working with him to lead the organisation and execute the Club’s business strategy.”

Collins said he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the Chiefs.

“I’ve had a close association with the Chiefs, first as a player, then through Taranaki’s connection as a franchise partner, so I have an affinity with Chiefs rugby and am eager to help the organisation to further success,” he said.

“I am proud of the success Taranaki Rugby has achieved in recent years and will use the experience I have gained to make a positive difference in this challenging role of leading a well-performed Super Rugby franchise.”

Collins said he was excited about the opportunities ahead for the Chiefs Rugby Club.

“The Chiefs have a dedicated and experienced new coach in Colin Cooper, exciting young recruits, and a talented core group of players who have played a lot of Super Rugby. So there is plenty of potential for success and growth in the coming years both on the field and off it.”

Dallas Fisher also announced two new independent director appointments to the Chiefs Rugby Club Board. Following a thorough process through the Independent Selection Panel after the resignation of director Bill Osborne and retirement of director Jon Mayson earlier this year, Tonia Cawood and Simon Graafhuis have been appointed to the Board.

Tonia Cawood is an experienced independent chartered director involved in a wide variety of organisations in the sporting, manufacturing and aged care sectors including Rowing New Zealand. She is also the director of her own business advisory company Pro-ject Management.

Simon is the Chief Financial Officer at Gallagher Group Limited. He has been the CFO for the Gallagher Group since 2008 with responsibility for the global finance function. Simon is also a Ministerial appointee on the Waikato University Council and Chair of the University’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Dallas Fisher said the Board is delighted to have directors of this calibre joining the Chiefs and is looking forward to their contribution.