May 19, 2022

Gallagher Chiefs eye up vital win at home

• Pita Gus Sowakula lined up for 50th match for the Gallagher Chiefs
• All Blacks Josh Lord and Tupai Vaa’i pair up in the locking stocks
• Double Gallagher Chiefs selection for prop Josh Bartlett
• Chiefs Rugby Club aims to raise 50 beds for Variety

The Gallagher Chiefs are hoping their fervent fans will flock to FMG Stadium to provide the energy for their all-important final regular-season home game against the Force in Hamilton on Saturday.
They currently hold a slender three-point advantage in fourth place on the DHL Super Rugby Pacific points table with just two games remaining in the regular season. Victory over the Western Australian team is vital, and a bonus point would go a long way to securing the fourth spot, and with it home-ground advantage for the playoffs.

They will head to Fiji for their final game against the Fijian Drua next weekend, but victory on Saturday will go a long way to making that trip to the South Pacific more enjoyable.
If the Gallagher Chiefs can secure the home-ground advantage for the quarter-finals, then there is no more hard-working contributor than loose forward Pita Gus Sowakula who will celebrate his 50th game on Saturday.

Bolstering that tough forward pack is the pairing of All Blacks Josh Lord and Tupou Vaa’i in the second row, while talented Taranaki hooker Bradley Slater will make his first start in four weeks.

There is interest in the potential debut for Bay of Plenty prop Josh Bartlett, who was also named this week in the University of Waikato Chiefs Under-20 side for the Super Rugby Next Gen competition starting in Taupo this weekend.

“We know the importance of the weekend. Our destiny around home quarter-finals remains in our hands, but for now we fully respect the challenge the Force bring,” said Head Coach Clayton McMillan

“We will need to knuckle down and execute our roles as individuals and as a team. We have been disappointed with how we have performed for our loyal home fans so there is an opportunity to put that right this week.”

This round the Chiefs Rugby Club is working with Variety for the third successive season to support the charity’s annual Warm Hearts Winter Appeal, with the goal of raising funds for 50 beds for Kiwi kids in need. Co-Captain Sam Cane is donating his playing jersey from the game and all proceeds will go towards the purchase of beds for kiwi kids. If you would like to donate head to

The Gallagher Chiefs team to meet the Western Force on Saturday is:
1. Aidan Ross
2. Bradley Slater
3. Angus Ta’avao
4. Josh Lord
5. Tupou Vaa’i
6. Pita Gus Sowakula
7. Sam Cane (Co-Captain)
8. Luke Jacobson
9. Brad Weber (Co-Captain)
10. Bryn Gatland
11. Chase Tiatia
12. Quinn Tupaea
13. Alex Nankivell
14. Emoni Narawa
15. Kaleb Trask
16. Samisoni Taukei’aho
17. Josh Bartlett *
18. George Dyer
19. Samipeni Finau
20. Mitch Brown
21. Kaylum Boshier
22. Xavier Roe
23. Rameka Poihipi
* Debut

Unavailable for selection:
Reuben O’Neill, Gideon Wrampling, Simon Parker, Brodie Retallick, Josh Ioane, Sione Mafileo, Laghlan McWhannell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Shaun Stevenson, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Ollie Norris, Atu Moli, Jonah Lowe

Fixture Information:
Fixture: Gallagher Chiefs v Western Force Saturday 19 May, 4:35pm NZT
Location: FMG Stadium Waikato
Broadcast: Sky Sport 1

Gallagher Chiefs eye up vital win at home