Super Rugby

Elliot : Chiefs rivalry for places is raising the bar

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All Black and Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot says that he is enjoying being back in the Chiefs starting line up after missing the opening three rounds of Super Rugby due to concussion.

Elliot suffered the concussion in pre-season training in December and it ruled him out for 12 weeks before he was recalled for the match in Argentina against the Jaguares.

The All Black hooker’s career has been troubled by injuries and a a serious neck injury in 2013 almost forced him to retire for good but in the end only kept him out of the game for a year.

“I’ve been through adversity many times before, this was another road block that I had to overcome and another test of character, and to be back out playing again I’m feeling really good about that,” said the thirty-year-old Elliot.

The hooker has played more than 100 Super Rugby matches including 91 for the Chiefs and he says that he is relishing the competition for the two jersey with Nathan Harris and Rhys Marshall.

“They’re keeping the old dog on his toes,” Elliot told NZ Newswire.

“Those boys are training the house down and really bringing it every week – that’s good and it just raises the bar that we all have to play at.”

The Chiefs were beaten at home by the Lions in Round two but have responded well to that loss as they now lead the Australasian conference with four wins from five matches.

Elliot said that he has also been impressed with his fellow front rowers Mitchell Graham and Siate Tokolahi who have taken a big step up after Nepo Laulala and Pauliasi Manu suffered season ending injuries.

“Those guys have been huge losses and you have seen over the last two weeks we have been the underdogs in the last couple of games but managed to pull through.

“We are starting to get better as a unit and as a scrum and to see these young guys’ confidence grow is just a huge step in the right direction,” Elliot said.

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