Chiefs hooker Schwalger shares his knowledge

EVAN PEGDEN
Last updated 05:00 06/08/2012

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The young and the not-so-young starred for the Chiefs in the front row on Saturday night and veteran hooker Mahonri Schwalger reckons the future is bright as a result.

While colourful 30-year-old loosehead prop Sona Taumalolo is heading to France to take up a contract with Perpignan, the rest of the front row is set to stay.

Schwalger, who turns 33 next month, has taken 20-year-old rookie tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna under his wing this season.

He sees a big future for the youngster and other props Ben Afeaki and Toby Smith are still only 24 and 23 respectively, but the experienced rake is also ready for more himself.

"Sona's leaving but I'm loving being in the middle of this young front row and hopefully we've got another guy who can step up to the plate next year," Schwalger said.

"I'm pretty keen to keep on going. I'm enjoying my rugby here at the moment and hopefully these guys will still want me."

Schwalger, who captained Samoa at last year's Rugby World Cup, said he had thrived on being able to share his knowledge with the 138kg Tameifuna in particular.

"When I first met him I told him it's not all about how big you are but how you use your technique and angles in the scrum.

"He showed that tonight [Saturday] and he would be probably one of the best props in the country at the moment."

Schwalger said the challenge now for the Chiefs was to make sure they kept the core of the team.

"We've got a few guys moving overseas, we've got a few young guys who really fronted up tonight, we'll get some new guys next year but hopefully we can keep the core," he said.

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- Waikato Times

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