Chiefs

2007 Chiefs Rebel Sport Super 14 Squad Named

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Eleven new Chiefs, nine of them coming from within the franchise, were today named in the 2007 Chiefs Rebel Sport Super 14 squad.


Six of the new Chiefs secured their first Super 14-level contracts. These were Aled de Malmanche, Brendon Leonard, Toby Lynn, Dwayne Sweeney, Craig West ‘ all from the successful Waikato Air New Zealand Cup team, and Bay of Plenty‘s Murray Williams, who last year was a member of the Chiefs wider training group.


The other three new Chiefs from within the franchise had all played Rebel Sport Super 14 rugby last year, namely Richard Kahui (Highlanders), Roy Kinikinilau (Highlanders) and Tanerau Latimer (Crusaders).


The remaining two new Chiefs come from the draft – first five-eighth Tasesa Lavea (Blues) and second five-eighth Tane Tu’ipolotu (Hurricanes).


Both players have extensive Super 14 experience.


The 2007 Chiefs squad includes 19 players from the 2006 Chiefs campaign, which finished seventh in last season’s Rebel Sport Super 14.


Chiefs coach Ian Foster says: ‘the 2007 Chiefs squad is an exciting blend of some core Chiefs, combined with a group of young players who have been developed within the franchise and who have proven themselves in the recent Air New Zealand Cup competition.’


‘We are also delighted with the result of the draft. The loss of David Hill meant we were light on experience in our inside backs. So the presence of Tasesa and Tane, both experienced Rebel Sport Super 14 players at number 10 and 12, boosts our depth in this area.’


Lock Keith Robinson returns to the Chiefs squad this year after a two year absence due to injury. He last played for the Chiefs in 2004 against the Brumbies in the Chiefs’ first Super 12 semi-final.


‘The impact of a fit Keith Robinson has been obvious to everyone through the recent Waikato Air New Zealand Cup campaign. I’m delighted to see him back to play Rebel Sport Super 14 rugby.’


Successful Waikato coach Warren Gatland is once again on board with the Chiefs for the 2007 campaign in the increased role of assistant coach, following on from the retirement of Farrell Temata.


Meanwhile, Jono Gibbes will captain the Chiefs for the fifth consecutive year.



The Chiefs 2007 squad by positions:


Props:


Ben Castle Prop Bay of Plenty 21 Chiefs games


Simms Davison Prop Bay of Plenty 30 Chiefs games


Craig West Prop Waikato New Chief


Nathan White Prop Waikato 6 Chiefs games



Hookers:


Aled de Malmanche Hooker/Prop Waikato New Chief


Tom Willis Hooker Waikato 17 Chiefs games


Tight Forwards:


Jono Gibbes (c) Lock/loose forward Waikato 56 Chiefs games


Toby Lynn Lock Waikato New Chief


Kristian Ormsby Lock Counties-Manukau 21 Chiefs games


Keith Robinson Lock Waikato 34 Chiefs games


Loose Forwards:


Steven Bates Blindside/No. 8 Waikato 46 Chiefs games


Marty Holah Openside Waikato 69 Chiefs games


Sione Lauaki Blindside/No. 8 Waikato 29 Chiefs games


Tanerau Latimer Openside Bay of Plenty New Chief


Liam Messam Blindside/No. 8 Waikato 9 Chiefs games



Halfbacks:


Byron Kelleher Halfback Waikato 33 Chiefs games


Brendon Leonard Halfback Waikato New Chief


Jamie Nutbrown Halfback Bay of Plenty 11 Chiefs games



First five-eighths:


Stephen Donald First five-eighth Waikato 21 Chiefs games


Tasesa Lavea First five-eighth Blues New Chief


Murray Williams First five-eighth Bay of Plenty New Chief


Midfield Backs:


Richard Kahui Midfield Back Waikato New Chief


Niva Ta’auso Midfield Back Counties-Manukau 9 Chiefs games


Tane Tu’ipolotu Midfield Back Hurricanes New Chief


Wingers/Fullbacks:


Sosene Anesi Wing/Fullback Waikato 23 Chiefs games


Roy Kinikinilau Wing Waikato New Chief


Lelia Masaga Wing Counties-Manukau 3 Chiefs games


Mils Muliaina Fullback Waikato 12 Chiefs games


Sitiveni Sivivatu Wing Waikato 41 Chiefs games


Dwayne Sweeney Utility Back Waikato New Chief


Anthony Tahana Wing Bay of Plenty 7 Chiefs games


Byron Kelleher, Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu are involved in the All Blacks conditioning programme which will see them unavailable
for selection in the the early rounds of the 2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 competition.



Meanwhile, Waikato prop Sam Biddles was drafted into the Blues and Bay of Plenty loose forward Nili Latu was drafted into the Hurricanes.

 

Statistical split: Waikato 20 , Bay of Plenty 6, Counties Manukau 3, Draft 2.

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