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The Gallagher Chiefs will kick off 2018 with the defence of their title at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, with the showcase pre-season tournament to be held on Friday 9 and Saturday February 10 at Suncorp Stadium.

Following a hugely popular debut in 2017, the event switches to a day-night format, with matches to begin in the afternoon and run into the evenings.

The Liam Messam-captained Chiefs surged to the title at the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, defeating the Crusaders in the final after battling past the Queensland Reds in the quarterfinals and South Africa’s Bulls in the semi-finals.

“This year’s tournament was incredible and I can’t wait to get back there again to defend our title in February,” Messam said.

“It was a great fun but also bloody tough, which is exactly what we need at that time of the year. We actually lost our first game to the Rebels so to come back and win it from there was awesome.”

The Gallagher Chiefs were the best-supported club at the 2017 tournament and chief executive Andrew Flexman expected that to continue in 2018.

“Chiefs fans once again showed just how passionate and loyal they are by backing the boys in huge numbers in Brisbane,” Flexman said. “It was a brilliant weekend of rugby – with the perfect result – and 2018 is set to be even bigger and better. I’d encourage our fans to get to Brisbane to experience what is a truly superb weekend of top class rugby.”

The 2018 tournament is set to feature new talent, with French powerhouse club Pau – the current home of former All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor – set to make their debut alongside fellow newcomers Fiji.

“Pau have already confirmed that Conrad Smith will be in their line-up and they’ll be bringing a side stacked full of international talent,” tournament chief executive Rachael Carroll said.

“And we’re also delighted to have Fiji taking part. There was a very strong Fijian presence across the 14 teams last year so it’s fitting that Fiji will now join Samoa, Pau and Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights at the tournament.

“We’ve got an incredible amount of top class rugby talent lining up to take part - and with the move to a day-night format - Brisbane will be in full party mode. The 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will be an unmissable event.”

 

Corporate packages can be booked via www.brisbaneglobaltens.com

General admission tickets are on sale from Friday at ticketek.co.nz/brisbanetens

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