Hard-working Canadian forward Tyler Ardron has signed with the Gallagher Chiefs for the 2018 and 2019 Investec Super Rugby seasons. At 1.96m and 114kg, Ardron is adept at number 8, blindside flanker and lock. The 25-year-old currently plays for Ospreys in the Guinness PRO12 competition.

“I'm hugely excited to be joining the Gallagher Chiefs and to have the opportunity to play Super Rugby. I can't wait to get to New Zealand and find out what makes Super Rugby the best club Competition in the world and be in an environment with such great players and coaches. I look forward to contributing and being a major part in the future success of the Chiefs” said Ardron.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said: “This is a great signing for the Chiefs. Tyler is a very experienced and dynamic International loose forward. He’s been keen to test himself in Super Rugby, having been a standout for Ospreys over the past four seasons. He’s a bloody good man and his leadership and work ethic will align perfectly with the Chiefs.”

Tyler Ardron made his debut for Canada in 2012. A natural leader, Ardron captained Canada in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The versatile forward linked up with Welsh Pro 12 club Ospreys in 2013 and to date he has played 64 games for the side. The consistent performer was named Ospreys Player of the Year in 2015. Tyler Ardron will play for Bay of Plenty in the Mitre 10 Cup. 

The Gallagher Chiefs have proven too strong for the Queensland Reds, running away with a convincing 46-17 win at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.

In a much improved performance after a flat couple of weeks, the Gallagher Chiefs scored six tries in total with a burst of 19 points in the opening 12 minutes of the second half sending them on their way to five more competition points, and improving their record this season to nine wins and one loss.

A steady start from both teams meant neither side was able to make much of an impact in the opening 10 minutes. But the Reds slowly worked their way into good field position and capitalised with a strong lineout drive from five metres out – hooker Stephen Moore the man to get the ball down for an early lead.

From the restart the Gallagher Chiefs responded by winning the kick off and quickly moving to within metres of the Reds’ line. Prop Kane Hames looked to have barged his way over after seven phases of pressure, and after a lengthy look from the TMO the try was confirmed. Fullback Damian McKenzie slotted the conversion to give his side the lead.

Momentum soon swung back in favour of the visitors and, after winning a penalty right in front, showed their intent as they opted to kick into the corner and were rewarded with their second try when wing Eto Nabuli pounced on a deflected pass to score.

First five Quade Cooper added the extras for a 12-7 lead after the opening 20 minutes of play, but that gap was soon narrowed when McKenzie landed a straight forward penalty attempt.

After some good Gallagher Chiefs defence denied another positive period of play from the Reds, McKenzie made a good counter attacking run which led to a high tackle yellow card for Reds veteran George Smith. McKenzie made no mistake off the tee from the resulting penalty to nudge his side back in front.

Yet again the Reds worked their way deep into Gallagher Chiefs territory but a brilliant run from the returning Charlie Ngatai cleared the danger and shifted the Chiefs onto attack. After several minutes of pressure, it was Ngatai who fittingly finished off the movement, getting the ball from wing Toni Pulu and sliding over in the tackle to extend the lead.

The Gallagher Chiefs finished the half strongly and looked like they made add further points before the break, but the Reds held on and the teams went into halftime with the Gallagher Chiefs up 20 points to 12.

It took less than a minute for the hosts to strike in the second half as Sam Cane won the kick off to immediately put the Gallagher Chiefs on the front foot. A couple of phases after a good run from Tawera Kerr-Barlow the halfback then supplied a well-timed pass for lock Dominic Bird to crash over.

The Gallagher Chiefs made it a double strike as wing James Lowe made a clean break up the middle of the field to get the Reds defence scrambling. Some quick ball movement put first five Stephen Donald into space and he showed a good turn of speed to finish from 25 metres out.

After settling down for a moment, the Reds switched off at scrum time just five metres from their own line to allow the Gallagher Chiefs a tighthead, and Donald was on hand to take a short pass from Kerr-Barlow to score his second try of the evening.

With McKenzie converting both of Donald’s tries the score quickly blew out to 39-12 with still over 25 minutes remaining.

Just as it looked like the Gallagher Chiefs were about to completely run away with it, a turnover on halfway saw the Reds break out down the left wing and some slick ball handling ended in a well taken try to centre Campbell Magnay.

As both sides emptied the reserve benches for the final quarter the structure went out of the game until a piece of magic out of nowhere from James Lowe. Picking the ball up 40 metres out, the left wing ducked and weaved his way through several tired defenders to score a fine solo try.

The Gallagher Chiefs looked keen to hit the half century mark and had their chances late in the match but the match was ended when replacement Shaun Stevenson kicked the ball into touch to ensure the bonus point win.

Gallagher Chiefs 46 (Stephen Donald 2, Kane Hames, Charlie Ngatai, Dominic Bird, James Lowe tries; Damian McKenzie 5 cons, 2 pens) Queensland Reds 17 (Stephen Moore, Eto Nabuli, Campbell Magnay tries; Quade Cooper con) HT: 20-12.

The Gallagher Chiefs now head into a bye week before returning to action with a special fixture – a top of the table clash with the Crusaders at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji (Friday 19 May, kick off 7.35pm).

Twenty motivated Chiefs region secondary schools teams will take to fields around Chiefs country over the next four weeks for the 2017 University of Waikato Chiefs Cup, Trophy and Bowl competitions.

The Chiefs Cup competition will be contested by eight teams in two pools to play three matches for their standing within their pool. The two pool winners will play the University of Waikato Chiefs Cup final on Saturday 3 June as the curtain raiser to the Gallagher Chiefs Round 15 Investec Super Rugby game against the Waratahs at FMG Stadium Waikato.

The Schools in the University of Waikato Chiefs Cup are:

Pool A                                                                              Pool B

Manurewa High School                                                Wesley College

Hamilton Boys High School                                         St Johns College

St Pauls College                                                             Rotorua Boys High School

Tauranga Boys College                                                Francis Douglas Memorial College

The Chiefs Trophy competition will run to the same format as the Chiefs Cup this year, culminating in a cross pool finals day on 27 May.

The Schools in the University of Waikato Chiefs Trophy are:

Pool A                                                                               Pool B

Pukekohe High School                                                   Rosehill College

Wesley College 2nd XV                                                  St Peters School

Cambridge High School                                                 Western Heights High School

Hamilton Boys High School 2nd XV                               Taupo Nui a Tia College

The University of Waikato Chiefs Bowl competition is comprised of four teams; Waiuku College, James Cook High School, Pukekohe College and Te Awamutu College. These teams will play three round-robin matches before their own Finals day, with 1st vs 2nd and 3rd vs 4th on 27 May.

Chiefs High Performance Manager Chris Tindall said the 2017 University of Waikato Chiefs Cup, Trophy and Bowl competitions played an important role in the ongoing development of rugby in the Chiefs region.

“The Chiefs together with our Provincial Unions are committed to the development of rugby and building success in the Chiefs region and believe that 1st XV rugby is an important part of that. The Chiefs Cup, Trophy and Bowl competitions give young players in Schools from each of our Provincial Unions the opportunity to play against different sides across the Chiefs region in a competition format, which is an important part of rugby development and identifying players for the future. 

“We have worked together with our Provincial Unions and the schools involved which has made this Chiefs region competition successful and we again appreciate the effort from everyone involved including the schools, players, management and supporters to support the competition for the players. We also appreciate the support and connection of the University of Waikato with our schools competition.” said Tindall.

The University of Waikato Chiefs Cup and Trophy competition is in its sixth year and continues to be an important platform to showcase the top echelon of secondary schools rugby talent within the Chiefs region. The competition provides players with the opportunity to stake their claim for selection for the Chiefs Region U18 Schools development camp which takes place in early July. This Camp is part of the selection process for the New Zealand Schools team.

Previous winners:

University of Waikato Chiefs Cup

2016: Hamilton Boys High School

2015: Rotorua Boys High School

2014: Rotorua Boys High School
2013: Hamilton Boys High School

2012: Hamilton Boys High School

University of Waikato Chiefs Trophy


2016: Hamilton Boys High School (2nd XV)

2015: Hamilton Boys High School (2nd XV)

2014: Hamilton Boys High School (2nd XV)

2013: St Peters School

2012: Thames Valley High School


University of Waikato Chiefs Bowl


2016:  Pukekohe High School


For all team and draw information please click here.

Gallagher Chiefs midfield sensation Charlie Ngatai makes his return to Investec Super Rugby this weekend, starting at second five-eighth against the Reds at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. It’s a fitting venue for the 26-year-old to make his comeback in front of thousands of fans, many of whom have also enjoyed Ngatai’s thrilling performances for his provincial team Taranaki.

The humble midfielder is not the only exciting addition to the Gallagher Chiefs this week, with All Black hooker Nathan Harris being named in the reserves. The 25-year old has diligently worked his way back from a knee injury sustained in August 2016 to make his first appearance this season. 

Anticipating a combative and astute Reds side, Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has named an experienced and motivated playing 23. There are eight changes to the starting fifteen that defeated the Sunwolves 27-20 to record their eighth win of the season last Saturday. 

In the forwards, Brodie Retallick returns to the side as the sole change to the tight five. There’s a reshuffle in the loose forwards with co-captain Sam Cane shifting from number 8 to openside flanker. Mitchell Brown is promoted from the bench to start at blindside flanker, and Michael Leitch returns to the 23 to start at number 8.

A dangerous backline awaits the Reds, with five All Blacks named to start. Tawera Kerr-Barlow returns to re-establish his partnership with co-captain Aaron Cruden in jerseys 9 and 10 respectively. Charlie Ngatai links up with Anton Lienert-Brown to form a formidable midfield combination, with James Lowe, Toni Pulu and Damian McKenzie completing the backline at 11, 14 and fullback. 

The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the Reds at 7.35pm this Saturday 6 May is:

1.            Kane Hames (17)

2.            Hika Elliot (113)

3.            Nepo Laulala (6)

4.            Dominic Bird (20)

5.            Brodie Retallick (79)

6.            Mitchell Brown (9)

7.            Sam Cane (co-captain) (88)

8.            Michael Leitch (29)

9.            Tawera Kerr-Barlow (75)

10.          Aaron Cruden (co-captain) (82)

11.          James Lowe (45)

12.          Charlie Ngatai (39)

13.          Anton Lienert-Brown (33)

14.          Toni Pulu (19)

15.          Damian McKenzie (42)  


16.          Nathan Harris (23)

17.          Atu Moli (19)

18.          Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (19)

19.          Taleni Seu (26)

20.          Liam Messam (154)

21.          Jonathan Taumateine (3)

22.          Sam McNicol (15)

23.          Shaun Stevenson (16)

() = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets

Unavailable for selection: Brad Weber, Mitchell Graham, Glen Fisiiahi, Tim Nanai-Williams, Liam Polwart, James Tucker and Finlay Christie.

Two fierce Taranaki rugby rivals will set the tone early this Saturday with New Plymouth Boys High School taking on Francis Douglas Memorial College in the curtain raiser. Gates open to Yarrow Stadium at 5pm, with the highly-anticipated annual secondary school match kicking off at 5.10pm.  

The Gallagher Chiefs Round 11 contest against the Reds kicks off at 7.35pm this Saturday 6 May. Tickets are available from the TSB Showplace, ticketdirect.co.nz or 0800 4 CHIEFS.