Chiefs announce 2013 Super Rugby squad


Super Rugby 2012 Champions, the Chiefs have formally announced their squad for the 2013 campaign.

The Chiefs re-signed many of their players during the 2012 season, and added four players in the selection process to complete the 2013 squad: former All Black Ross Filipo who returned to Wellington after playing rugby in France and England, New Zealand U20 Hooker Rhys Marshall from Taranaki, Canterbury’s Fijian born winger Patrick Osborne and Wellington prop and former NZ U20 Solomona Sakalia.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said “We are very happy with our squad.  We know a lot about these players, their work ethic and character, therefore we have picked the new guys coming in on those attributes too.”

The Chiefs have retained the majority of their winning squad from last season with the transition of Augustine Pulu, Josh Hohneck and Bundee Aki from the wider training squad into the main squad.  The squad contains five current All Blacks, seven Maori All Blacks and seven new recruits*.

Once again, the Chiefs have confirmed their commitment to being a truly regional team by taking Investec Super Rugby matches to as many parts of the region as possible by playing games at Taupo (pre-season), Tauranga and Pukekohe.  The rest of the fixtures will be played at Waikato Stadium, including an afternoon game against the Reds.

“We know how important it is to get our region behind us and taking the rugby to the provinces is a way to help achieve this,“ said coach Rennie.

The team will play the following home fixtures:
Saturday 2 February: Chiefs v Highlanders (pre-season) – Owen Delany Park, Taupo 3pm
Saturday 2 March: Chiefs v Cheetahs – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 7.35pm
Friday 22 March: Chiefs v Highlanders –Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 7.35pm
Saturday 30 March: Chiefs v Blues – Bay Park, Tauranga 7.35pm
Saturday 13 April: Chiefs v Reds – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 4.30pm
Saturday 27 April: Chiefs v Sharks – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 7.35pm
Friday 10 May: Chiefs v Western Force – ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe 7.35pm
Friday 24 May: Chiefs v Crusaders – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 7.35pm
Friday 28 June: Chiefs v Hurricanes – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 7.35pm

The Chiefs have already launched their season membership renewal programme, rewarding previous members with the same seat at the same price .  New 2013 season memberships will go on sale in November in time to make an ideal Christmas gift.  Visit for more information.

Chiefs 2013 Investec Super Rugby Squad

Ben Afeaki                   Prop                             North Harbour
Bundee Aki                  Midfield back              Counties Manukau
Gareth Anscombe*     First five-eighth           Auckland
Sam Cane                    Loose forward             Bay of Plenty
Craig Clarke                Lock                             Taranaki
Nick Crosswell*          Loose forward             Manawatu
Aaron Cruden              First five-eight h          Manawatu
Hikawera Elliot            Hooker                         Hawke’s Bay
Ross Filipo*                 Loose forward             Wellington
Mike Fitzgerald           Lock                             Manawatu
Romana Graham         Lock                             Waikato
Josh Hohneck              Prop                             Bay of Plenty
Andrew Horrell            Utility back                  Hawke’s Bay
Richard Kahui              Midfield back              Waikato
Tawera Kerr-Barlow    Halfback                      Waikato
Tanerau Latimer          Loose forward             Bay of Plenty
Fritz Lee                       No 8                             Counties Manukau
Brendon Leonard         Halfback                      Waikato
Rhys Marshall*           Hooker                         Taranaki
Lelia Masaga              Winger                        Bay of Plenty
Liam Messam              Loose forward             Waikato
Tim Nanai-Williams    Outside back               Counties Manukau
Charlie Ngatai*           Midfield back              Wellington
Patrick Osborne*        Winger                        Canterbury
Augustine Pulu            Halfback                      Counties Manukau
Brodie Retallick           Lock                             Bay of Plenty
Robbie Robinson         Fullback                       Southland
Mahonri Schwalger     Hooker                         Counties Manukau
Toby Smith                  Prop                             Waikato
Solomona Sakalia*      Prop                             Wellington
Ben Tameifuna            Prop                             Hawke’s Bay
Asaeli Tikoirotuma      Winger                        Manawatu

* denotes new recruits

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  1. Very North Island squad as you might expect given Hamilton’s locality in centre of N Isld. I detected a distinct mean streak which entered their play towards the end of S15 2011 lead by fatty Ben Tameifuna such as his amateurish attempt to rile Richie McCaw when they played the Crusaders. Tameifuna is in trouble with the police for a driving conviction- will be interesting to see if the refs target his on-field activities.