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New recruit Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi is loving every minute in his first season at the club.

The halfback has impressed since joining from the Hurricanes, putting in a string of performances that have caught the eye.

The 23-year old was last week called up to the All Blacks foundation day training camp alongside other All Black regulars in the Gallagher Chiefs squad.

Tahuriorangi said he has loved his start to the season in Chiefs colours and has noticed the strong team culture.

“I Love it. The culture in the team is really tight and I like what we stand for, a lot of things I do now is based around being a Gallagher Chiefs player and being a good person on and off the field as well as being around my family”.

A highlight for Te Toiroa has been doing manaakitanga, a fundamental component of the team’s culture which see the players get out and about across a wide number of community initiatives and groups.

“I enjoy getting out and doing manaakitanga, so I try and go to Schools, even for five or 10 minutes because for me it’s bigger than rugby and I want to give back to the fans. I know my time in the Chiefs jersey is showing that legacy on and off the field and what I do on the field goes to show what I do off it which is getting around the community and making kids and the community smile.”

A special moment so far in Tahuriorangi’s career was winning the International U20 tournament with New Zealand in 2015, and being able to link up with past players now in the Chiefs squad.

“I’ve been through the system and one thing that stands out in my career was my u20s year – a lot of the boys in the team have played that at the same time as me and it has been great to connect back with them and grow together. That has been the highlight of my rugby career at the moment, being part of that U20s tournament in 2015 where we actually took it out!”

Te Toiroa has also felt the love from the fans around Chiefs country and commented on how good the passionate home support is.

“You just can’t beat it. Just before we run out, the kapa haka group does a haka which gives you tingles up your spine which carries through to the fans and the fans are amongst it which makes such a good atmosphere when you’re out there. It’s what you want to be feeling as a player – that love.”

Hailing from Rotorua, Tahuriorangi played rugby for Rotorua Boys High School before making the New Zealand u20 squad after stellar form. He is excited about the prospect of going home and playing in front of a passionate Rotorua crowd and his family this weekend.

“If I get the opportunity to play against the Jaguares in Rotorua, I will really cherish that moment and playing in front of my family and friends.”

The Gallagher Chiefs are back in action on Friday 4 May against the Jaguares. You can purchase your tickets here.

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