February 28, 2024

Slater to notch up 50 games at Super Round Melbourne

All 12 DHL Super Rugby Pacific teams will convene at AAMI Park this weekend for Super Round Melbourne with the Gallagher Chiefs to face the Brumbies on Sunday afternoon.

The second match of the season will be a momentous occasion in particular for Taranaki forward Bradley Slater who will celebrate his 50th match for the Gallagher Chiefs. 25-year-old Slater debuted for the team in 2019 and has become a core part of the team since that first game.

Slater said: “It’s very special for me to play 50 games for the Gallagher Chiefs. The club has offered me a lot and I am very grateful to be a part of this team.”

Alongside Slater in the tight five is All Black lock Tupou Vaa’i as well as Ollie Norris, George Dyer and Manaaki Selby-Rickit who move into the starting lineup this week. Meanwhile, the relentless loose forward trio of Samipeni Finau, Kaylum Boshier and captain Luke Jacobson will consolidate the forward pack.

Enlivened after last week’s try on his return to Super Rugby after an injury last season is Xavier Roe who starts at halfback, with playmaker Damian McKenzie retaining the No.10 jersey.

In the midfield, Rameka Poihipi steps into second-five alongside the experienced Anton Lienert-Brown. Meanwhile, the electric backline from round one remains unchanged with Etene Nanai-Seturo and Liam Coombes-Fabling on the wing and Shaun Stevenson at fullback.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said: “Early on in the season we want to give our people legitimate opportunities to stake a claim for a jersey. Those that we have brought into the starting lineup have had really positive moments throughout the preseason so are duly rewarded this week. That’s the beauty of our squad, there are a lot of very capable people who can step into positions when that opportunity presents itself. If you look at the balance of the squad though it is relatively unchanged with a lot of cohesion.

“We know what we are coming up against this weekend with the Brumbies who are one of the best teams in the competition. They have a clear understanding of where their strengths lie and really play to them so we just have to be good enough to impose our own strengths against them.”

The Gallagher Chiefs round two game kicks off against the Brumbies at 4.05pm NZT this Sunday at AAMI Park.

Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Brumbies:
1. Ollie Norris
2. Bradley Slater
3. George Dyer
4. Manaaki Selby-Rickit
5. Tupou Vaa’i
6. Samipeni Finau
7. Kaylum Boshier
8. Luke Jacobson
9. Xavier Roe
10. Damian McKenzie
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo
12. Rameka Poihipi
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Liam Coombes-Fabling
15. Shaun Stevenson

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho
17. Jared Proffit
18. Reuben O’Neill
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi
20. Simon Parker
21. Cortez Ratima
22. Josh Ioane
23. Daniel Rona

Unavailable for selection: Kaleb Trask, Emoni Narawa, Josh Lord, Gideon Wrampling, Quinn Tupaea.

Match Details
Super Round Melbourne
Gallagher Chiefs v Brumbies
Sunday 3 March
Kick Off 4pm NZST
Broadcast: Sky Sports / Stan Sport

Slater to notch up 50 games at Super Round Melbourne