February 17, 2023

Nankivell signs with Munster

Outstanding midfielder Alex Nankivell will play his final season for the Gallagher Chiefs before moving offshore.

The 26-year-old has signed to famous Irish club Munster, one of the four professional provincial rugby teams in Ireland.

Nankivell, originally from Christchurch, made his provincial debut for Tasman Mako in 2015, earning his promotion to the Gallagher Chiefs in 2017. He adapted quickly to become a regular in the midfield, and his outstanding form in 2019 earned him selection for the Māori All Blacks against Fiji.

He became a key member of the Gallagher Chiefs campaign, bringing up his 50th game for the club in 2022, and completed the year with a tour to the UK with the All Blacks XV.

“It has been an absolute pleasure and I am so grateful to the Chiefs Rugby Club for giving me an opportunity to live my childhood dream,” said Nankivell.

“A massive thank you to the fans, the Chiefs family and my teammates, both past and present, who have been a part of my journey since I came to Waikato at the end of 2016. The memories on the field have been unreal but it’s the friendships and memories I have made off the field that I will cherish the most. I can’t wait to rip into the 2023 season for one last time and make it a season to remember.”

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said Nankivell will leave big boots to fill.

“Losing players of Alex’s calibre is never ideal, but there comes a time in most players’ careers where they start looking at their options and in particular an overseas experience. That time has come for Alex and he goes to Munster with our full support,” said McMillan.

“Alex is a super-competitive athlete, is hard on himself and hard on others. His performances in the Chiefs jersey have consistently been of the highest order. Off-field Alex has been at the forefront of ensuring the team are genuinely connected and care for one another. There is no doubt his presence will be missed.”

Nankivell signs with Munster