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Today we’ve been busy getting out and about in the beautiful Taranaki ahead of our mid-season hit out against the Hurricanes at the TSB Hub in Hawera tomorrow.

The day started bright and early with Tim, Tiaan and Lachlan venturing out to More FM to be interviewed live on air. It was great to be in the studio and Tiaan even managed to win the Taranaki quiz!

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We then travelled to Inglewood where the players had the pleasure of leading a skills session with 100 keen kids, organized by our friends First Windows & Doors. We really enjoyed leading the kids in different drills and seeing so much talent on show. The kids seemed to have a lot of fun and cherished getting a selfie and autograph at the end of the event.

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For Manaakitanga, we split into groups and headed to four primary schools around New Plymouth to visit the students and play some rugby with them. We visited Fitzroy Primary, St John Bosco, Merrilands School and Central School. The enthusiasm of the students was contagious and we were buzzing to play touch rugby with the kids, give them some tips and answer some tough questions in assembly! Central School even had their strongest kids attempt to tackle us in front of their class.

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To conclude the day, we had a captain’s run at Yarrow Stadium where we finished our preparation ahead of tomorrow’s big game. It was nice to meet fans after and get their best wishes before our clash against the Hurricanes.

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Tomorrow we take on the Hurricanes at the TSB Hub in Hawera. Entry is free and we will have a gold coin collection, raising funds toward Sport Taranaki and their TSSSA Taranaki Youth Forum, which is a cause nominated by Craig Norgate’s widow Jane Norgagte.

As an organisation, we are honoured to be commemorating Craig Norgate and supporting an organisation so fitting for what he stood for. Bring a gold coin this Thursday to support a great cause in the Taranaki community.

In the 46th minute of the first test of the All Blacks June series against France, Gallagher Chiefs prop Karl Tu’inukuafe came on for his All Blacks debut at Eden Park, the same stadium he made his Chiefs debut for just over three months ago.

A thunderous scrum followed led by Karl in the front row, and at the close of play, Karl Tu’inukuafe had passed his first international test with flying colours.

Not one person could have foreseen the remarkable rise Karl has made in the last three months. Coming in as injury cover for the Gallagher Chiefs, the humble prop had trained with the team throughout pre-season and was deservedly awarded a place in the team as an injury replacement player where he made his debut against the Blues at the start of the month. 

A Chiefs fan from his high school days, Karl couldn’t believe he was finally putting on the Chiefs colours and taking the field.

“I never thought I’d get the chance to step on the field and make my debut against the Blues. It was a dream come true because at high school I was always a big fan of the Chiefs, it was such a special feeling.”

The Chiefs culture has stood out to Karl since he has been in the team environment and he noted that emphasis on the team and not the individual.

“The culture at the Chiefs is unreal. I guess playing is something that every player knows what to do, and the brotherhood here helps to push you further.

“Everyone is really helpful. No one is out for themselves and they care about the team, we all back each other.”

A highlight for Karl this season has been the travel and seeing different parts of the world such as Japan and South Africa.

“I loved going overseas and seeing different parts of the world that I definitely wouldn’t have if I wasn’t playing right now. I’ve loved seeing South Africa and Japan. Playing in Cape Town was unreal with the crowd over there.”

The powerful prop commented on how strong fans support of the team is and the loyalty they show.

“Even before I made my debut for the team, I notice that the Chiefs fans are some of the most loyal around, win or lose, the support is unreal from the fans here.”

And when the call up for the All Blacks came, it was such a surreal moment for Karl, one he struggled to believe was true.

“I just couldn’t believe it, I thought it was someone playing a joke! When I knew it was serious, I was so happy.”

Out of rugby, Karl mentions he is a sweet tooth, and that it was a highlight to try out sweets he hadn’t had before in South Africa!

“I am a bit of a sweet tooth! I remember when I was in South Africa, I was trying sweet food I haven’t had before – it was unreal.” Laughs Karl.

Karl is in the All Blacks squad for the remaining two games of the June International series against France, where he will then link back up with the Gallagher Chiefs squad for the last three round robin home games of the season against the Highlanders, Brumbies and Hurricanes.

The Investec Super Rugby 2019 Draw has today been confirmed, with the Gallagher Chiefs kicking off at home in the opening match of the competition in a gripping New Zealand derby, on Friday the 15th of February against southern foes the Highlanders.

The Gallagher Chiefs will again face all the New Zealand teams home and away with home derbies to be played against the Hurricanes in Round 5, Blues in Round 9, and the Crusaders in Round 16 for a fiery last round robin home game of the season.

We are excited to welcome the Sunwolves back to Chiefs Country in Round 3 and also host the Lions, Sharks and Reds. It will be the first time facing off at home against these tough South African opposition since 2016.  

A tough and intriguing international tour beckons where the team will face the Bulls in South Africa, before travelling to Argentina to take on the Jaguares.

The Investec Super Rugby competition structure will run uninterrupted for 21 weeks as there is no June inbound international matches in 2019 due to the World Cup in Japan. That will make for an action packed Round Robin series for fans to enjoy with the playoffs beginning on the 22 June, with the final to be played on Saturday 6 July.

The Chiefs Rugby Club are currently working on securing the eight home game venues and will let fans know these as soon as they are confirmed.

Get ahead of the game with a great membership offer for 2019 – all the best Investec Super Rugby in Chiefs Country plus the Sevens and a bonus of the last two round robin home games of the 2018 season at FMG Stadium Waikato facing the Brumbies and the Hurricanes. Visit chiefs.co.nz for more information.


The Gallagher Chiefs will play the Hurricanes on Hicks Park at the TSB Hub in Hawera, on Thursday 21 June.

This is the farthest south the Chiefs Rugby Club have taken a game.  The Club felt it was a fitting location for two passionate teams to go head to head and acknowledge the immense contribution to rugby of Hawera local Craig Norgate. 

South Taranaki District Mayor Ross says it was a real coup that Hawera was able to secure the match which would be played as a midseason ‘friendly’ game during the international window of the Investec Super Rugby season, while the All Blacks were playing France.

“It’s fantastic to see the Super Rugby clubs returning to the provincial grass roots and giving fans, both young and old, the opportunity to see these elite players play on their home turf,” says Mayor Dunlop. “And given the history of the Hurricanes and Chiefs Super Rugby clubs in the region, I’m sure there will be strong support for both teams.”

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper was looking forward to visiting the strong rugby community.

“We are really looking forward to visiting Hawera to play the Hurricanes and meet the passionate Taranaki fans. It’s a great opportunity to get some game time and preparation under our belt in the June break before we go to Fiji to face the Highlanders. We’re excited to come to Hawera and to bring a game to the Taranaki region and it’ll be special to commemorate past Chiefs board member Craig Norgate for this game.  Craig was a deeply competitive, intelligent and passionate man and it is fitting to play a game in the same spirit in his home town.”

Taranaki Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Jeremy Parkinson was thrilled to see the Gallagher Chiefs visiting the region and displaying the pathway from province to Super Rugby. 

"The Taranaki Rugby Football Union are looking forward to the Chiefs travelling to our region and taking a game against the Hurricanes out into our community.  As a stakeholder in the club it is important that we stay connected and showcase the pathway through the province into Super Rugby.  We have a significant number of Taranaki players in the Chiefs and it will be good to see them on display in Hawera later in the month playing in the region that developed and promoted them to this level."

The Gallagher Chiefs team are looking forward to meeting many fans throughout South Taranaki and New Plymouth over the two days.

The Gallagher Chiefs and Hurricanes share a fierce rivalry, and will be using this match as motivation to prepare for the business end of the season. The teams will then face off again in the final round of the Investec Super Rugby competition on Friday 13 July in Hamilton.

The game starts at 1pm on Thursday 21 June and entry is free. 

The Chiefs Rugby Club is launching its new Alumni programme created by Gallagher Chiefs players Brodie Retallick, Liam Messam and Stephen Donald.

The Alumni programme is for players and ex-players of the Chiefs Rugby Club along with team management and staff who have worked for the Chiefs for over five years.

The main purpose of the programme is to raise funds for Alumni members and their families who may fall on hard times or need financial assistance accessing personal or professional development tools.

This year the Alumni programme is raising funds for the five children of late Gallagher Chiefs player #120 Sione Lauaki. We would like to gift a trust account which Sione’s children can draw on for education and training purposes.

This Alumni fundraising event will be hosted by Gallagher Chiefs players and high profile ex-Chiefs including Ian Jones, Richard Turner, Errol Brain and more to be announced. There will be entertainment and live and silent auctions organised and donated by the players themselves.

A table is purchased for nine guests with the tenth guest being a Gallagher Chiefs player hosting you for the evening. Montana Catering are proudly sponsoring all food and beverage for the evening including a table served main meal and dessert and a selection of New Zealand’s premium beer and wine brands.

Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato
Date: Tuesday 3rd July, 5.30pm - 10.30pm
Cost: $1600+GST per table of 9

Download Booking Form Here

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For more information or if you cannot attend the event please contact:

Kate Shirtcliff

Sponsorship Manager

021 224 7898

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Sam Cane
Full Name: Sam Cane
Team: Chiefs
Position:Loose forward
Super Rugby Games:95
Super Rugby Points:60 (12t)
Super Rugby Debut:2011 v Lions in Johannesburg
Province:Bay of Plenty
Provincial Games:19
Provincial Points:25 (5t)
Provincial Debut:2010 v Auckland in Mt Maunganui
Test Caps:50
Test Points:60 (12t)
Test Debut:2012 v Ireland in Christchurch
Facebook ID:456670991114990
Twitter Username:SamCane7
Youtube:Sam Cane

"A player with immense talent and leadership qualities, Sam has been a vital member of the squad for the past seven seasons. Sam has been co-captain of the team with Aaron for the past two seasons."- The Chiefs

Sam enters his seventh season with the Chiefs and is a key part of the team’s leadership co-captaining the side for the third successive season.  On the back of a stellar Super Rugby season in 2016 he collected  the Chiefs Players’ Player of the Year and showed many mature performances in his role as co-captain.   

The talented loose forward has won two Investec Super Rugby titles, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a U20 Junior World Championship gold medal and is a former New Zealand Rugby Age Group Player of the Year.

If you weren’t a rugby player, what would you be doing?
Guitarist in a rock band

Who was your favourite player as a kid?
Jeff Wilson

What event would you go to the Olympics for … No sevens allowed!
Beach Volleyball

Favourite sportsperson outside rugby?
Roger Federer

Forwards- What position would you put yourself in the backline and why?
Backs- What position would you put yourself in the forward pack and why?

Second Five

What’s your go to meal in the kitchen?
Creamy Chicken Fettucine

What’s your mum’s best meal for her boy?
Roast Lamb

Who is the best singer in the team?
Nathan Harris

Favourite movie quote?
Life is a game of inches, so is football –Al Pacino-Any given Sunday

What would you spend your last $10 on?
Two handles of beer for me and a mate

2018 Investec Super Rugby Table

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