The Chiefs and Kobelco Steelers high performance partnership has seen Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie spend a week with the Kobelco Steelers in their preparations for the Japanese Top League rugby season.
The Gallagher Chiefs will play the BNZ Crusaders in Fiji at ANZ Stadium, Suva on Friday 1 July 2016 in their Round 15 Investec Super Rugby match.
The unique fixture is the result of an extensive amount of work by multiple parties who were eager to have more top class rugby in the Pacific Islands.
Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said “We know how much the Pacific Island people love their rugby and this year’s test match between Manu Samoa and the All Blacks was testament to that.
“This is a great opportunity to take the Gallagher Chiefs to Fiji and help promote the game in their country. Fijians have added a huge amount to New Zealand’s rugby heritage and it is fitting that we can give something back as well as expose our brand in a new territory.”
“The fixture is a culmination of a lot of hard work by numerous parties, none more so than the game promoter Fortress Information Systems and the Government of Fiji. We should also acknowledge the New Zealand Rugby Players Association and our players for their support of this venture”.
There is great excitement within Fiji Tourism and the Government of Fiji about showcasing Fiji and its national stadium in Suva alongside the Fijian people’s love of rugby. The match will be accessible for the local people with Fortress willing to provide discounted tickets for Fijian citizens to watch the match.
Exclusive ‘Chiefs Road Crew’ tour packages will be available soon for those fans that would like to be part of this special match and all 2016 members will automatically go in the draw to win ‘The Ultimate Chiefs Experience’ which is a trip for two to Fiji to watch their team take on the BNZ Crusaders.
The Chiefs Rugby Club continue their commitment to take Investec Super Rugby to as many parts of their region when they play their two pre-season games against the Waratahs in the Bay of Plenty and the Blues in Counties Manukau. They will also return to Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth for their Round 10 competition match against the Sharks.
Flexman said “We are a truly regional team and cover a vast area so want to connect with as many of our supporters as possible.”
Current members are invited to renew now and new membership enquiries can be made through www.chiefs.co.nz.
Gallagher Chiefs 2016 Pre-season Fixtures
Friday 12 February Gallagher Chiefs v Waratahs, Bay of Plenty Friday 19 February Gallagher Chiefs v Blues, Counties Manukau Gallagher Chiefs 2016 Investec Super Rugby Home Fixtures
Saturday 5 March Gallagher Chiefs v Lions 5.15pm FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton Saturday 26 March Gallagher Chiefs v Western Force 7.35pm FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton Friday 8 April Gallagher Chiefs v Blues 7.35pm FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton Friday 29 April Gallagher Chiefs v Sharks 7.35pm Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth Saturday 7 May Gallagher Chiefs v Highlanders 7.35pm FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
Saturday 21 May Gallagher Chiefs v Rebels 7.35pm FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton Friday 1 July Gallagher Chiefs v Crusaders 7.35pm ANZ Stadium, Suva, Fiji
The Gallagher Chiefs will host 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter finalists Wales in Hamilton on Tuesday evening, 14 June 2016.
The match will be played during the June International window at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton and is expected to draw huge interest given the regions connection with Welsh Rugby; Wales are coached by Hamilton’s Honorary Ambassador and former Hamilton Boys High School student Warren Gatland and former Chiefs player Gareth Anscombe is in the squad.
Gallagher Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said “The combination of Wales success and popularity at the current Rugby World Cup and Warren’s connections to this region, will make for a very special match.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide this unique opportunity for our loyal fans and are grateful to the Welsh Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby, Waikato Rugby Union and the Hamilton City Council for helping make this happen.”
Dave Rennie, Gallagher Chiefs head coach believes the international match will fall in a crucial time for his side’s Investec Super Rugby campaign.
“The chance for provincial players to play against International sides is a rarity in the professional era, so we are really excited by the challenge.
“Gats is hugely respected in this community so it’s a nice fit for him to bring his Welsh team home to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs.”
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “It is great our midweek match against the Chiefs has been confirmed.
“For the squad it will be a great opportunity to have further game time together ahead of the second and third tests against the All Blacks.
“For me personally it will be an honour to bring Wales to Hamilton and face the Chiefs.”
The kick-off time for the night time match will be confirmed shortly.
Gallagher Chiefs and Waikato Rugby memberships are available with the option to include the Chiefs v Wales match. Current members are invited to renew now and new membership enquiries can be made on the Chiefs website here.
The Gallagher Chiefs have named their squad for the upcoming 2016 Investec Super Rugby season.
Head coach Dave Rennie believes they have assembled a squad with a good blend of enthusiastic debutants and experience, with 12 current and former All Blacks in the team.
“We’ve selected an outstanding group of men, high on character and competitive edge.
The 14 new faces, our highest turnover since 2012 when we had 16, gives us an exciting blend of youth and experience and excellent depth throughout.
“The new competition structure will be challenging with more travel, but being the first team to play in Buenos Aires will be an amazing occasion,” said Rennie.
There are 26 players returning to the Gallagher Chiefs who include Japanese RWC captain and Chiefs New Player of the Year in 2015, Michael Leitch and former All Black and Rugby World Cup hero Stephen Donald. Donald has played 85 matches for the Chiefs, last appearing for the side in 2011.
There are a total of 25players from the Chiefs region Provincial Unions with seven from Counties Manukau and Waikato, six from Taranaki and five from Bay of Plenty.
Sonny Bill Williams and Augustine Pulu from Counties Manukau will be involved in the All Blacks Sevens squad in 2016 at a Tier 1 and Tier 2 level respectively.
Fourteennew players will join the Gallagher Chiefs with 11 players expected to make their Investec Super Rugby debut*.
Those players include Sam Vaka from the All Blacks Sevens side and Counties Manukau and Mitch Karpik from the New Zealand U20’s 2015 IRB Junior World Cup winning team who has been a stand out for Auckland in the ITM Cup and has now joined Bay of Plenty. James Tucker and Tom Sanders, both from the 2014 New Zealand U20’s team, former Warrior Glen Fisiiahi, Teleni Seu from Auckland, Latu Vaeno from Taranaki and Chase Tiatia all become new Chiefs.
20 year-old Tiatia caught the Chiefs eye during the ITM Cup season with Bay of Plenty after making the move from Wellington. Last year he played ITM Cup and in the inaugural winning team of the Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19 Tournament for Wellington.
Tiatia said “I have worked with some of the Gallagher Chiefs staff and they have really looked after me and encouraged my development this year, so I was keen to continue with this pathway.”
The captain of the 2015 world champion New Zealand U20’s team Atu Moli and his Waikato team mate Shaun Stevenson will be in line to make their Super Rugby debut having come from this year’s Chiefs Development team. The Gallagher Chiefs features 12 players in the squad from the Chiefs Development programme.
Three Super Rugby players will make their Gallagher Chiefs debut**. Dominic Bird and Nepo Laulala from the Crusaders and Sam McNicol from the Hurricanes have all made the move north.
Nineteen year-old McNicol made his Investec Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs earlier this year in Taranaki.
McNicol who grew up in Hawke’s Bay said “I jumped at the opportunity that the Gallagher Chiefs have given me and am looking forward to getting some game time in this highly competitive sport. I have heard great things about the Chiefs environment and am looking forward to my move.”
A fractured eye socket in a pre-season game for Wellington limited McNicol’s opportunities in this years’ ITM Cup
Kieran Keane from the Tasman Makos and Neil Barnes from the RWC Canadian team join Dave Rennie and Andrew Strawbridge to complete the Gallagher Chiefs coaching team.
A special member of the Chiefs whanau, Austin Manning from Mount Manganui has been named as the 41st man in the Gallagher Chiefs Squad. The seven year old is suffering from cerebral palsy. Austin is confined to a wheelchair and requires help for all of life’s tasks. The Gallagher Chiefs will be fundraising to assist Austin to get to St Louis in America for an operation that will radically change his and his family’s life. Austin’s Mum is also going through her own battle with cancer. Visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/austinsdreamtowalkto help Austin.
Gallagher Chiefs memberships will be on sale soon. Current members will be invited to renew their membership first and new membership enquiries can be made through www.chiefs.co.nz. Gallagher Chiefs Investec Super Rugby Squad Michael Allardice – Lock (Hawke’s Bay) Johan Bardoul – Loose forward (Bay of Plenty) Dominic Bird – Lock (Canterbury)** Sam Cane – Loose forward (Bay of Plenty) Stephen Donald – First five-eighth (Waikato) Aaron Cruden – First five-eighth (Manawatu) Hika Elliot - Hooker (Taranaki) Glen Fisiiahi - Utility Back (Counties Manukau)* Siegfried Fisiihoi – Prop (Bay of Plenty)* Mitchell Graham - Prop (Taranaki) Nathan Harris - Hooker (Bay of Plenty) Andrew Horrell - Midfield back (Hawke’s Bay) Mitchell Karpik – Loose forward (Auckland-Bay of Plenty)* Tawera Kerr-Barlow – Halfback (Waikato) Tevita Koloamatangi – Loose forward (Tasman) Nepo Laulala – Prop (Canterbury)** Michael Leitch – Loose forward (Japan) Anton Lienert-Brown – Midfield back (Waikato) James Lowe – Winger (Tasman) Pauliasi Manu – Prop (Counties Manukau) Rhys Marshall – Hooker (Taranaki) Damian McKenzie – First five-eighth/Fullback (Waikato) Sam McNicol – Outside back (Wellington)** Atu Moli – Prop (Waikato)* Charlie Ngatai – Midfield back (Taranaki) Augustine Pulu – Halfback (Counties Manukau) Toni Pulu – Winger (Counties Manukau) Brodie Retallick – Lock (Bay of Plenty-Hawke’s Bay) Tom Sanders – Loose forward (Canterbury) * Teleni Seu – Loose forward (Auckland)* Shaun Stevenson – Outside back (Waikato)* Seta Tamanivalu – Midfield back (Taranaki) Chase Tiatia – Outside back (Bay of Plenty)* Siate Tokolahi – Prop (Canterbury) James Tucker – Lock (Waikato)* Maama Vaipulu – Loose forward (Counties Manukau) Latu Vaeno – Winger (Taranaki)* Sam Vaka – Midfield back (Counties Manukau)* Brad Weber – Halfback (Waikato-Hawke’s Bay) Sonny Bill Williams – Midfield (Counties Manukau) Austin Manning – Supersub (Bay of Plenty) ***
*Super Rugby debut
** Gallagher Chiefs debut ***Special team member
<<< Go Back