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Chiefs call off their trip to Argentina in June

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says a sponsor fell through

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Article Published: Wednesday 8 May 2013|


Super Rugby Champions the Chiefs have called off their plans to play a match against Argentina during the June break.

The Chiefs had planned a match in Argentina during the June test window as they have a five-week break to keep them active while also provide instruction for 20 Argentine coaches as well as coaching some poor youngsters.

However Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has revealed that a major sponsor organised by the ARU had fallen through and there was insufficient time to find a replacement.

"It's been off for a little while and we've been trying to find a suitable replacement overseas but haven't been successful," Rennie told Stuff.

"Unfortunately we had some issues around the Argentina Rugby Union and the sponsor they had sorted has fallen through so we're not going.

"We were talking to one of the Japanese clubs we've had a little bit to do with in recent months but it was just a little bit late in the piece to make that happen."

It is not practical for the Chiefs to play a non-competition against a fellow New Zealand franchise team as the Chiefs have matches against the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Blues after the break.

"The Highlanders were interested in a game and the Hurricanes were too but we've already played the Highlanders three times and the Hurricanes we would have played twice including pre-season by that time and we play them again straight after the break so it was just not the ideal opposition," he said.

Rennie says that they now play to the same as last year during the June test window and play a play a match comprising 40 minutes against each of Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau on their immaculate training field at Ruakura.

"They will play each other for 40 minutes as well and we'll make a big day of it, setting up marquees here at Ruakura and invite a lot of the sponsors and so on and have a bit of an after-match back at the clubrooms."

The match has been tentatively planned for Tuesday, June 18, which is 10 days before the Chiefs' first match back in Super Rugby.

"It's a fantastic surface. The Hurricanes play at Mangatainoka pre-season on a cow paddock. The event is really great but the quality of the surface is poor and we think maybe we could set up something here long term.

"It's a beautiful part of Hamilton and it would be nice to do something here so we'll have a play with it at that [June] game and see how that turns out," he said.

Rennie added that if the match at Ruakura was successful they could play a pre-season fixture there on the same lines as the Hurricanes fixtures at Mangatainoka.

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