Chiefs' development squad named
The Chiefs have announced their development team training squad, which will play teams from Tonga and Samoa as part of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup in March.
The Chiefs side will play matches against the Blues Development team at Eden Park followed by matches against Tonga 'A' at Te Kuiti and and Samoa 'A' at Te Awamutu.
The Chiefs Development training squad includes a wider group of selected ITM Cup players and younger players from the Chiefs region to receive skills coaching sessions by Chiefs coaches Dave Rennie, Tom Coventry, Andrew Strawbridge and Wayne Smith, together with the Chiefs Development team coaches Johnny Walters, Carl Hoeft and Dave Dillon.
Bay of Plenty Coach Kevin Schuler, Waikato Coach Chris Gibbes and Counties Manukau Coach Tana Umaga will also provide Resource Coach assistance at trainings when available.
The Chiefs Development teams to play the matches in March will be selected from the Development training squad players together with available Chiefs squad and wider squad players.
''The Chiefs Development programme was an important part of the Chiefs season and our approach of working together with our Chiefs region Provincial Unions in the identifying, coaching and development of players across the Chiefs region for ITM Cup and Super Rugby," Chiefs high performance manager Chris Tindall said.
"From his performance in the Chief Development programme last year Bundee Aki earned selection as a Chiefs Wider Squad replacement during last season and being contracted for the 2013 Chiefs squad."
Chiefs Development Team Matches:
Sunday 10 March: Chiefs Development v Blues Development at Eden Park , kick off early afternoon TBC
Saturday 23 March: Chiefs Development v Tonga 'A' at Te Kuiti, kick off 2.45pm
Thursday 28 March: Chiefs Development v Samoa 'A' at Albert Park, Te Awamutu, kick off 5.15pm.
Tickets to the matches will be available on match day at the gate.
Chiefs Development Training Squad 2013
Props: Matt Talaese (Counties Manukau); Pingi Tala'apitaga (Bay of Plenty); Loni Uhila (Waikato); John Tu'ungafasi (Waikato); Joe Walsh (Waikato); Josh Davey (Waikato)
Hookers:Suliasi Taufalele (Counties Manukau); Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty); Kalifi Pongi (Counties Manukau); Hame Faiva (Waikato)
Locks: Sam Kilgour (Waikato); Keepa Mewett (Bay of Plenty); Nick Ross (Waikato)
Arin Dunstar (King Country); Brian Alainu'uese (Waikato); James Tucker (Waikato)Troy Callander (Bay of Plenty)
Loose Forwards: Johan Bardoul (Bay of Plenty); Sonny Afililonga (Waikato); Jacob Ale (Waikato); Maama Vaipulu (Counties Manukau); Jossan Levien (Waikato); Kane Jacobson (Waikato); Rory Grice (Waikato); Carl Axtens (Bay of Plenty); Adam Burn (Waikato); Jeff Thwaites (Bay of Plenty)
Josh Hall (Bay of Plenty); Jamie Nutbrown (Bay of Plenty); Ruan du Ploy (Waikato) Ben Draper (King Country)
First Fives: Wharenui Hawera (Waikato); Tom Halse (Counties Manukau); Thomas Bird (Waikato); Brook Treymayne (Thames Valley)
Midfield Backs: Tyrone Lefau (Counties Manukau); Jacob Proctor (Waikato); Marnus Hanley (Waikato); Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato); Niko Malo (Waikato); Dillon Collier (Waikato)
Outside Backs: Toni Pulu (Counties Manukau); Junior Tofa-Va'a (Bay of Plenty); Semisi Masirewa (Waikato); Sione Molia (Counties Manukau); Elijah Nicholas (Bay of Plenty); Mason Walker (Bay of Plenty); Joe Reynolds (Counties Manukau); Joe Webber (Waikato)
Players not available due to injury: Simon Lemalu (Counties Manukau), Fraser Armstrong (Waikato), Adam Cathcart (Counties-Manukau), Haami Martin (Waikato), Regan Ware (Waikato), Toby Arnold (Bay of Plenty) and Josh Gascoigne (Waikato)