February 28, 2019

Gallagher Chiefs return to home soil to face the Sunwolves

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The Gallagher Chiefs return to FMG Stadium Waikato to take on the Sunwolves on Saturday 2 March in the third round of the 2019 Investec Super Rugby competition.

Kicking off at 7.35pm the Gallagher Chiefs will welcome the return of winger Sean Wainui and midfield cover Alex Nankivell, who will make their first appearance of the 2019 Investec Super Rugby competition.

Hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho will have his first start in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey in a new front row combination of Aidan Ross, Taukei’aho and Angus Ta’avao. Legendary lock Brodie Retallick and Michael Allardice will complete the tight five. Loose forward Mitchell Brown will don jersey number six and Mitchell Karpik earns his first start at seven for the season with Lachlan Boshier named in the reserves. Taleni Seu moves into the starting fifteen after Tyler Ardron was ruled out with concussion. Taranaki’s Jesse Parete will provide cover on the bench.

Brad Weber returns to start at half back, with Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi moving to the bench. Unchanged at ten, Damian McKenzie will steer the backline for the Gallagher Chiefs. Impressive midfielder Orbyn Leger will start at his preferred second five eighth position combining with centre Tumua Manu in the midfield. The back three will remain unchanged with the exception of returning winger Wainui who has been named on the right wing ahead of Ataata Moeakiola who has been named in jersey number 23.

In the reserves, Taranaki hooker Bradley Slater who will be looking to make his Investec Super Rugby debut off the bench. Slater will be joined by Tasman midfielder Nankivell who will don jersey number 22. Propping duo Tevita Mafielo and Sosefo Kautai maintain their position in the 23 as cover.

Assistant Coach Tabai Matson said this weekend will be no light task for the Gallagher Chiefs.

“This weekend we need to pull together what we have been working on at training and transfer that into the game. The Sunwolves are a good side and we are not taking them lightly. They were close to a win last week and will be hurting just as we are. We just need to do the basics right and the rest will fall into place,” said Matson.

Matson finished acknowledging the team want to provide Brodie Retallick with a more fitting celebration for his achievement.

“Last week we didn’t deliver for Brodie. As a team we want to be able to put in a performance we are proud of and provide Brodie with a fitting acknowledgement for this significant milestone in front of a home crowd.”

The Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Aidan Ross (15)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (11)
3. Angus Ta’avao (9)
4. Brodie Retallick (100)
5. Michael Allardice (36)
6. Mitchell Brown (23)
7. Mitchell Karpik (14)
8. Taleni Seu (36)
9. Brad Weber (58)
10. Damian McKenzie (66)
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo (2)
12. Orbyn Leger (1)
13. Tumua Manu (2)
14. Sean Wainui (15)
15. Shaun Stevenson (35)

16. Bradley Slater**
17. Tevita Mafileo (2)
18. Sosefo Kautai (6)
19. Jesse Parete (10)
20. Lachlan Boshier (32)
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (19)
22. Alex Nankivell (9)
23. Ataata Moeakiola (2)

() = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets
*denotes Gallagher Chiefs debut
**denotes Investec Super Rugby debut

Unavailable for selection: Anton Lienert-Brown, Nathan Harris, Nepo Laulala.

Retallick will be formally acknowledged following the match receiving a mere on behalf of New Zealand Rugby Union for achieving 100 Investec Super Rugby caps for the Gallagher Chiefs.

The fixture brought to you by Splice Construction will be a celebration of Retallick’s notable milestone. The “Retallick Zone” will be a prominent position for Retallick fans to watch from after purchasing a “Retallick 100 bundle”, which includes a commemorative Retallick t-shirt and a seat in “Retallick Zone” and more. Each “Retallick 100 bundle” sold will include a $5 donation to Retallick’s chosen charity True Colours.

In addition to the excitement surrounding Retallick, the Sunwolves and Gallagher Chiefs supporters will be welcomed into FMG Stadium Waikato to the beat of the Wai Taiko (Japanese) Drummers. The Cambridge High School Japanese Dancers will entertain pre-game with their Japanese inspired dance. Pyro technics will return alongside DROPIT reverse auctions, free kids packs, player signings at the 1-day.co.nz Fun Zones and an exclusive member’s entrance at each gate. There are also plenty of prizes up for grabs with Gallagher Surprise and Delight packs which will be handed out throughout the game to legendary Gallagher Chiefs fans in the stands and Splice Construction rugby balls will be kicked into the crowd post-game as perfect keepsakes to have signed by the team.

This week’s curtain raiser will feature the regions up and coming talent with the University of Waikato Under 20’s taking on the Hurricanes Under 20’s at 5.00pm.

FIXTURE: Gallagher Chiefs vs. Sunwolves, 7.35pm, Saturday 2 March
CURTAIN RAISER: University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20’s vs. Hurricanes Under 20’s, 5.00pm, Saturday 2 March
GATES OPEN: 4.45pm
LOCATION: FMG Stadium Waikato
TICKETS & MEMBERSHIPS: https://www.chiefs.co.nz/game-tickets

Gallagher Chiefs return to home soil to face the Sunwolves