New Zealand U20’s Junior World Cup winning captain Atunaisa Moli has signed with the Chiefs for the next two years.
The versatile Waikato prop who can play both sides of the scrum has impressed Chiefs coach Dave Rennie since being a part of the Chiefs Development programme in 2014.
Moli toured with the Chiefs Development team to Hong Kong earlier this season in addition to spending time training with the Chiefs Investec Super Rugby squad.
Rennie said “Atu is a big man with a big future. We've got to know him well over the past couple of seasons from a character and training perspective. His work ethic and desire to develop his game is impressive.”
It has been an exciting time for the 20 year-old tighthead prop. Having led his country to their first Junior World Cup championship since 2011, Moli is rapt to have his first Super Rugby contract.
The 125kg prop said “I enjoy living in Hamilton and the Chiefs and Waikato have done a lot for me, so it was a logical choice to sign with them both.”
“I have learned a lot and am looking forward to continue that learning with the Chiefs.”
Moli will continue to play his ITM Cup for Waikato. He has represented the New Zealand U20’s in 2014 and 2015 and captained the Marlborough Boys First XV in 2013.
Warrior Glen Fisiiahi is set to make a return to rugby and will be joining the Chiefs for the next two years.
The 24 year-old former Wesley College Sports Dux and Counties Manukau U18 rugby player, who had offers to stay in rugby league said “I wanted a change and to switch back to Union with the Chiefs.”
“I have really enjoyed the league environment but I have rekindled my interest in rugby and want to try a different environment. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my sporting career and a fresh challenge.
The outside back said “I have been impressed by what I have seen at the Chiefs and I believe it will be a good fit for me.”
Coach Dave Rennie said “Glen is a great addition to our group. In the mould of Asaeli Tikoirotuma, he is electric, has a strong skill set and is an outstanding support player. The opportunity to roam on both sides of the park in our game will suit him.”
Fisiiahi has signed to play his ITM Cup for the Counties Manukau Provincial Union.
Counties Manukau CEO Andrew Maddock said “We are excited to welcome Glen back to Counties Manukau. He will be a great asset to our Union and complement the Steelers well.”
After playing alongside Augustine Pulu and Charlies Piutau in the Wesley College First XV, Fisiiahi started playing league for the Junior Warriors in 2009. He joined the first grade Warriors side in 2011 and has been part of the NRL team since. He has also represented Tonga in the 2013 League World Cup.
One of the Chiefs most versatile backs, Andrew Horrell has re-committed to the Club for another Investec Super Rugby season.
With four years of Super Rugby and two championship titles to his name, the 27 year-old has proven to be one of the most useful players in the Chiefs team, having played four different positions.
Head Coach Dave Rennie said “In a world of massive midfielders, Hozza is a point of difference. With an intelligent footy brain and quality skill set, his ability to create opportunities for others is first class. Andrew’s experience and versatility make him a huge asset to this club.”
Horrell said “I am excited about our new season. We have some new coaches and new opportunities. I love playing for the Chiefs and I want to win another title with this group of top lads.
Horrell has play 49 matches for the Chiefs since making his debut in 2012 against the Blues in Round two.
Horrell joins the following Chiefs players who have already committed to the Chiefs for 2016: Michael Allardice, Dominic Bird, Johan Bardoul, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Hika Elliot, Mitchell Graham, Nathan Harris, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tevita Koloamatangi, Nepo Laulala, Michael Leitch, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Pauliasi Manu, Damian McKenzie, Charlie Ngatai, Augustine Pulu, Toni Pulu, Brodie Retallick, Liam Squire, Seta Tamanivalu, Siate Tokolahi, Maama Vaipulu, Brad Weber and Sonny Bill Williams.
Chiefs 2015 wider training squad member Toni Pulu has earned a Chiefs squad contract for the 2016 Investec Super Rugby season on the back of his hard work.
The winger who spent the first part of the 2015 season recovering from shoulder surgery and ankle problems has signed for the next year.
Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie said “Although injured for a big chunk of the season Toni made an impression through his dedication and work ethic. The fastest man in our squad, Toni has the skill set and mindset to be a force at Super Rugby level.”
25 year-old Pulu who has just won the Counties Manukau Rugby club competition with his club Bombay said “I enjoyed the Chiefs environment and love working with the coaches and am keen to get my first cap for Super Rugby.”
Toni will take the field this afternoon for the Counties Manukau Steelers when they play Canterbury at 3pm at ECOLight Stadium in their final pre season hit out before the ITM cup begins.
Pulu joins the growing list of players who have already committed to the Chiefs.
2016 Chiefs contracted players: Michael Allardice, Dominic Bird, Johan Bardoul, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Hika Elliot, Mitchell Graham, Nathan Harris, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tevita Koloamatangi, Nepo Laulala, Michael Leitch, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Pauliasi Manu, Damian McKenzie, Charlie Ngatai, Augustine Pulu, Toni Pulu, Brodie Retallick, Liam Squire, Seta Tamanivalu, Siate Tokolahi, Maama Vaipulu, Brad Weber and Sonny Bill Williams.
Head CoachDave Rennie
Assistant CoachesTom CoventryAndrew Strawbridge
Team ManagerStu Williams
High Performance ManagerChris Tindall
Strength & ConditioningPhil HealeyBlair Mills
PhysioPaul CameronMike Lovell
Sport DieticianDane Baker
Kit ManagerDon Shergold
Personal Development ManagerJudy Clement
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