NZ teams make PE their SA base



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Port Elizabeth is the home of the Southern Spears who are supposed to be joining the Super 14 in 2007. Thus arrangement is in some doubt as the other five SA unions have clubbed together to stop this from happening.

PE will however have an early taste of Super 14 rugby as The Waikato Chiefs will arrive in town this weekend and they will remain in the city until next Thursday (February 9).

The Chiefs have opted to use PE as their base to prepare for their opening two Super 14 matches of the 2006 season.

The Chiefs play the Sharks in Durban on Saturday, February 11 and then go up against the Cats in Johannesburg on Friday, February 17. Some of the Chiefs big names is the recently joined All Black Byron Kelleher, Mils Muliaina and wing Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Chiefs coach Ian Foster believes that the team’s preparations are vital if they hope to make an impact in this year’s competition.

They will go on to Australia at the conclusion of their South African campaign and will then meet the Western Forces in Perth before returning to New Zealand.

The Otago Highlanders have also decided make the city its base while on tour in South Africa and play the Stormers in Cape Town on March 4 and then travel to PE the following day to prepare for their match against the Bulls in Pretoria on March 11. They will be in town until March 10.

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