January 29, 2020

Trask, Tupaea and Ah Kuoi excited to pull on the Gallagher Chiefs jersey

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Head Coach Warren Gatland has named three debutants in the Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Blues at the earlier kick-off time of 7.05pm at Eden Park on Friday 31 January.

Bay of Plenty first five-eighth Kaleb Trask and Waikato centre Quinn Tupaea have been named to start at ten and thirteen respectively. Wellington lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi will be hoping to debut off the bench in jersey nineteen.

Trask is excited for the opportunity to start for the Gallagher Chiefs in their first official match of 2020.

“I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when the team got announced and I am very excited for Friday night. It is a dream come true to make my debut for the Gallagher Chiefs.”

Midfielder Tupaea was surprised to find out he was starting when the team was announced to the squad on Monday.

“I was surprised to find out I was starting and excited at the same time. My family were wrapped for me and I can’t wait to get out and play on Friday.”

Locking cover Ah Kuoi is excited to reach the milestone and is looking forward to taking the field with the team.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to debut this weekend. I’ve worked hard throughout the pre-season and to be able to run out with the boys will be a dream come true. I was stoked when I heard my name called out but also really excited. It’s a huge milestone in my career and I can’t wait share it with my family.”

Gallagher Chiefs:
1. Aidan Ross (25)
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (22)
3. Nepo Laulala (32)
4. Tyler Ardron (26)
5. Mitchell Brown (33)
6. Lachlan Boshier (44)
7. Mitchell Karpik (20)
8. Sam Cane (111) ©
9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (32)
10. Kaleb Trask**
11. Solomon Alaimalo (38)
12. Alex Nankivell (22)
13. Quinn Tupaea**
14. Sean Wainui (26)
15. Damian McKenzie (72)

16. Bradley Slater (2)
17. Atu Moli (38)
18. Angus Ta’avao (32)
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi**
20. Pita Gus Sowakula (15)
21. Brad Weber (72)
22. Aaron Cruden (89)
23. Anton Lienert-Brown (69)

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

Unavailable for selection:
Laghlan McWhannell, Luke Jacobson, Michael Allardice, Nathan Harris, Reuben O’Neill and Tumua Manu.

2020 Gallagher Chiefs home match tickets are on sale here: https://www.chiefs.co.nz/game-tickets
2020 Gallagher Chiefs memberships are on sale until February 8 here: https://www.chiefs.co.nz/2020-memberships

Game Day Information:
Fixture: Blues vs. Gallagher Chiefs, Friday 31 January, 7.05pm (NZT)
Location: Eden Park, Auckland

Trask, Tupaea and Ah Kuoi excited to pull on the Gallagher Chiefs jersey