Chiefs train hard for Super Rugby three-peat
The Chiefs are training like champions in pre-season to try and propel them to a Super XV three-peat in 2014.
Assistant coach Wayne Smith said the team is looking "pretty good" early on in the year, as pre-season matches get underway next month.
"Our pre-seasons are pretty hard. They're notorious. You should talk to the players, they're fairly extreme, but it's part of what's helped us win a couple of championships.
"It's a tough period, and it does show a player's character and a team's character to be able to persist through the tough times. It's been a hard period, but a good period."
Smith said the team will start running through game scenarios next weekend, when they would traditionally begin preseason matches, before their first hit out against the Reds at Toowoomba Sports Ground in Queensland on February 8.
"And then we play the Blues down in Rotorua, which will be a big weekend for us.
"It's an area that's pretty important for us as Chiefs, and an area we really want to develop, down in Rotorua. Secondly, it leads into our opening game against the Crusaders, so it's pretty important."
Meanwhile, Smith said he is loving life with the Chiefs, describing the team as a family, and is excited about having a crack at another championship.
"This is home for me now. It was home for me when I was a kid. I had 33 years in Canterbury, but I've come home.
"I'm really enjoying it here. I like the set-up, I like the people I'm working with, love the team."