March 08, 2023

Gallagher Chiefs motivated for first game at home

The Gallagher Chiefs are excited to be home in front of family and fans for the first time this season when they host the Highlanders at FMG Stadium Waikato on Friday in DHL Super Rugby Pacific.

The team sits on top of the competition after two wins, and while that is a pleasing start, head coach Clayton McMillan says there is a long way to go.

“We have had elements of really good performances in both our games and have two pretty solid wins,” said McMillan. “It is just the start of a long campaign and we know that we must improve our performance every day, every session and every game.

“There were lots of things that we did well but we are also looking for improvements in our game.

“The team is really happy to be back playing in front of our fans and our whānau. We are at our home at FMG Stadium Waikato and with the support of our fans, we want to make this our fortress in 2023.”

This week Irish import John Ryan gets his first start, while Naitoa Ah Kuoi also earns his first start of the season to bolster a strong pack.

A fully fit Emoni Narawa comes on to start on the right wing while Taranaki 22-year-old, Daniel Rona is set to make his debut. There is a powerful bench to add impact including loose forward Samipeni Finau and Pita Gus Sowakula.

The game kicks off at 7.05pm (NZ Time) on Friday.

It is a big weekend for the Chiefs Rugby Club with the Waitomo Chiefs Manawa also playing in front of home fans for the first time as the unbeaten side takes on Matatū at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday with a 2.05pm kick off.

The team is (Chiefs caps in brackets):
1. Aidan Ross (62)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (65)
3. John Ryan (2)
4. Brodie Retallick (117)
5. Tupou Vaa’i (33)
6. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (35)
7. Sam Cane (Co-Captain, 139)
8. Luke Jacobson (51)
9. Brad Weber (Co-Captain, 112)
10. Damian McKenzie (97)
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo (30)
12. Rameka Poihipi (16)
13. Alex Nankivell (60)
14. Emoni Narawa (9)
15. Shaun Stevenson (69)

16. Bradley Slater (41)
17. Ollie Norris (30)
18. George Dyer (9)
19. Samipeni Finau (19)
20. Pita Gus Sowakula (55)
21. Cortez Ratima (11)
22. Josh Ioane (9)
23. Daniel Rona (Debut)

Players not considered because of injury: Angus Ta’avao (season), Atu Moli, Josh Lord, Quinn Tupaea, Anton Lienert-Brown.

All media enquiries to [email protected]

Gallagher Chiefs motivated for first game at home