November 21, 2021

Gallagher Chiefs squad announced for 2022

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Experience and continuity features throughout the 2022 Gallagher Chiefs squad for the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific competition. The squad will be aiming to go one better than in 2021 where they were Super Rugby Aotearoa finalists.

Gallagher Chiefs Head Coach Clayton McMillan said he is really excited by the squad that has been assembled to represent the Chiefs Rugby Club.

“I am really excited with the squad we have assembled, highlighted by the vast majority of last year’s roster being kept intact. Some valuable lessons have been learned in recent seasons, and we believe continuity of selection will help us take those learnings and start delivering consistently on our potential. Some internal belief started to emerge last year after navigating our way through some real adversity, but it’s important we only see that as the starting point. We have to be better and I am confident the squad we have selected will be motivated in more ways than one to do just that.”

There are seven new additions officially announced in the Gallagher Chiefs squad.

Two strong forwards have secured their spot in an established forwards contingent. Wellington hooker Tyrone Thompson, known for his power and pace with ball in hand, will join the Gallagher Chiefs in the 21-year-old’s rookie season.

Waikato’s Samipeni Finau, was called into the Gallagher Chiefs squad earlier this year as a replacement player. The versatile loose forward later debuted against the Highlanders after impressing coaches. From a promising debut, Finau became a regular feature of the Gallagher Chiefs 23.

Four exciting backs will join the Gallagher Chiefs squad in 2022. In-form halfback Cortez Ratima and elusive midfielder Gideon Wrampling have been influential in Waikato’s 2021 NPC Premiership winning campaign and will be hoping to impress in their rookie seasons. Ratima has been instrumental for Waikato, excellent with ball-in-hand and speed around the ruck to offer the Gallagher Chiefs another dynamic option at halfback.

Wrampling is a product of St Paul’s Collegiate and has represented both the New Zealand Under 20’s and New Zealand Schools. The 20-year-old captained the Chiefs Under 20’s side earlier this year prior to making his Super Rugby debut for the Gallagher Chiefs against the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

One test All Black utility back Josh Ioane will move north from the Highlanders to join the Gallagher Chiefs for the 2022 season. The 26-year-old has had an impressive year with the Māori All Blacks and Otago and will provide a competitive edge among his peers in the backline.

Bay of Plenty’s Emoni Narawa will shift south from the Blues to reunite with his former coach Clayton McMillan. Narawa is a product of Hamilton Boys High School and the exciting utility back has been a key contributor for the Bay of Plenty Steamers, developing an impressive attacking skill set.

In addition to new recruits, the Gallagher Chiefs will be bolstered by the return of All Black and former Gallagher Chiefs co-captain lock Brodie Retallick, who will re-unite with a formidable locking group of Bay of Plenty’s Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Waikato’s Laghlan McWhannell and All Black/Taranaki pairing of Josh Lord and Tupou Vaa’i.

The late Sean Wainui was to be named in the 2022 Gallagher Chiefs squad following a stand-out 2021 campaign.

2022 Gallagher Chiefs squad list:

Loosehead Props
Ollie Norris (Waikato, 16)
Reuben O’Neill (Taranaki, 15)
Aidan Ross (Bay of Plenty, 47)

Bradley Slater (Taranaki, 26)
Samisoni Taukei’aho (Waikato, 49)
Tyrone Thompson* (Wellington, *)

Tighthead Props
Sione Mafileo (North Harbour, 9)
Atu Moli (Tasman, 44)
Angus Ta’avao (Auckland, 47)

Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Bay of Plenty, 20)
Josh Lord (Taranaki, 5)
Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato, 0)
Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay, 107)
Tupou Vaa’i (Taranaki, 19)

Loose Forwards
Kaylum Boshier (Taranaki, 4)
Mitchell Brown (Taranaki, 55)
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 126)
Samipeni Finau (Waikato, 6)
Luke Jacobson (Waikato, 37)
Simon Parker (Waikato, 3)
Pita Gus Sowakula (Taranaki, 39)

Cortez Ratima* (Waikato, *)
Xavier Roe (Waikato, 7)
Brad Weber (Hawke’s Bay, 98)

First Five-Eighths
Bryn Gatland (North Harbour, 9)
Josh Ioane* (Otago, *)
Rivez Reihana (Northland, 1)
Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty, 17)

Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato, 94)
Alex Nankivell (Tasman, 43)
Rameka Poihipi (Canterbury, 4)
Quinn Tupaea (Waikato, 19)
Gideon Wrampling (Waikato, 1)

Outside Backs
Jonah Lowe (Hawke’s Bay, 8)
Etene Nanai Seturo (Counties Manukau, 21)
Emoni Narawa*(Bay of Plenty, *)
Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour, 62)
Chase Tiatia (Bay of Plenty, 11)

Brackets denote players’ provincial union and Gallagher Chiefs caps.
* denotes a player that is yet to debut for the Gallagher Chiefs
Bolded players denotes a rookie, those who have signed their first full-time Sky Super Rugby contract.

The 2022 Gallagher Chiefs squad will commence their pre-season training at the start of January.

Gallagher Chiefs squad announced for 2022