Chiefs (rugby union)

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For the English team see Exeter Chiefs

Chiefs
WaikatoChiefsLogo.png
UnionNew Zealand Rugby Union
Founded1996
LocationHamilton, New Zealand
RegionBay of Plenty
Counties Manukau
King Country
Thames Valley
Waikato
Taranaki
Ground(s)Waikato Stadium (Capacity: 26,000)
Coach(es)Colin Cooper
Captain(s)Sam Cane and
Brodie Retallick
Most capsLiam Messam (179 caps)
Top scorerStephen Donald (872)
League(s)Super Rugby
2018Quarterfinalist
3rd (New Zealand Conference)
5th (overall)
Team kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.chiefs.co.nz

The Chiefs (formerly known as the Waikato Chiefs and officially called the Gallagher Chiefs for sponsorship reasons) are a professional rugby union team based in Hamilton, New Zealand. The team competes in the Super Rugby competition, previously known as the Super 12 and Super 14, and are one of the competition's five New Zealand teams. Playing in black, red and yellow coloured jerseys, their primary home ground is Waikato Stadium.

Until 2004, the Chiefs were the only New Zealand side never to have qualified for the Super 12 semi-finals. In that year the Chiefs earned their first semi-final berth, and in the end achieved fourth place (defeated 37–20 in the semi-final by the ACT Brumbies). They subsequently reached the 2009 final, but found themselves on the short end of a record 61–17 defeat by the Bulls.

The Chiefs were rewarded with a home final after a strong 2012 season. The Chiefs defeated the Sharks 37–6, winning their first title. In 2013, the Chiefs became the fourth team to record back-to-back title wins, when they defeated the Brumbies 27–22 at Waikato Stadium.

History[edit]

The Chiefs were founded in 1996 as the Waikato Chiefs for the inaugural Super 12 season in 1996. Prior to the Super 12, the Super 10 competition had been in place, which NPC teams took part in, including Waikato. In the first year of competition the Chiefs placed 6th in the overall standings, missing out on making the finals; winning 6 of their 11 regular season matches. The following season the Chiefs placed 11th, winning 4 games and losing 7. In 1998 the Chiefs performed closer to the standard of their 1996 season and placed at 7th in the final standings. In 1999 the side were able to do one better and claimed 6th position on the ladder but were still yet to make the playoffs.

In 2000 the Chiefs won 3 of their regular season games and finished the regular season in 10th place. The following season the team equalled their best position again – finishing 6th. In 2002 the team won 4 games and lost 7 to finish in 8th position, and the season after, 2003 Super 12 season, fell to a 10th-place finish. But the season after, the Chiefs won 7 regular season games and came 4th on the ladder – claiming the first semi-final spot in their history. The Chiefs lost the semi-final against the Brumbies. In 2005 the team finished 6th. In 2006, the Super 12 expanded to the Super 14, with the addition of a new Australian and South African club. The Chiefs won 7 of their 13 games and drew once with 5 losses to come 7th. In 2009, the Chiefs made their second ever semi-final, defeating the Hurricanes 14 – 10 to advance to the final for the first time. They lost the final to the Bulls by the biggest-ever margin of 61–17. In the 2010 and 2011 seasons, they were unable to replicate their form of 2009, missing the playoffs in both seasons.

In 2012, following the disappointing results of previous years, the Chiefs underwent a significant change in personnel. This included the recruitment of new coaches, including Dave Rennie and Wayne Smith, and players, including Aaron Cruden, Ben Tameifuna, Brodie Retallick and Sonny Bill Williams. The changes had an immediate impact as the Chiefs finished at the top of the New Zealand conference, qualifying for a home semi-final, which they won, defeating the Crusaders 20–17. They subsequently hosted the final for the first time in the teams's history, comprehensively defeating the Sharks by 37 – 6, claiming their first title. They also set many club records in the 2012 season, including: most home wins, best home streak, best season winning streak, and most points and tries scored.[1]

In 2013, the Chiefs again won the Super Rugby title and the New Zealand conference with a regular-season record of 12 wins and four losses. They also won the BNZ Cup, a new trophy established by the NZRU for the New Zealand side with the best record in intra-conference matches.

In 2016 the Chiefs played a touring Wales side, winning the one-off encounter 40-7. In doing so they became the first New Zealand Super Rugby franchise to defeat an international team.[2]

In 2017 the Chiefs played the British and Irish Lions side in Hamilton, losing the encounter 34-6.

Franchise area and ownership[edit]

Franchise area[edit]

Since 1999, the Chiefs have 'represented' the provincial unions of Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, King Country, Taranaki, Thames Valley and Waikato.

From 1996 to 1998 the Chiefs also represented North Harbour and Northland, with Counties Manukau and Thames Valley falling under the Auckland Blues catchment. Had the Blues been allowed to represent the Auckland, North Harbour, Counties Manukau and Northland unions, they would have been able to field almost a full national team due to player contracting rules at the time. In an effort by the NZRU to make things more fair, the Chiefs were given North Harbour and Northland, while the Blues were given Counties Manukau and Thames Valley. By 1999, clear regional dominance of national team players no longer existed, so North Harbour and Northland were 'returned' to the Blues in exchange for Counties Manukau and Thames Valley.

Taranaki was originally part of the Hurricanes from 1996, but switched to the Chiefs in 2013.[3]

Ownership[edit]

The Chiefs are a wholly owned subsidiary of the NZRU. However, in an effort to bring more capital into the sport, the NZRU established a system of privatised operation in 2013. In 2014, it was announced that a new entity, 'Chiefs Rugby Club Limited Partnership', had been established, with the NZRU granting the newly formed company a seven-year licence, until the end of the 2020 season, to operate the club. Chiefs Rugby Club itself is 50% owned by the provincial unions within the Chiefs' catchment and 50% by a group of private investors .[4] As part of the Taranaki Rugby Union's investment, the Chiefs will hold two matches per year at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.

Grounds[edit]

Hamilton New Plymouth Rotorua Pukekohe Mount Maunganui
Waikato Stadium Yarrow Stadium Rotorua Int'l Stadium Navigation Homes Stadium ASB Baypark Stadium
Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 12,000 Capacity: 19,800
Hamilton 03.jpg YarrowStadium20101002.jpg Rotorua looking south from Mt Ngongotaha.JPG Ariel view of ASB Stadium and ASB Arena.jpg

Development team[edit]

The Chiefs have fielded a development team in competitions such as the Pacific Rugby Cup and in matches against other representative teams for several seasons. Known as the Chiefs Development XV, the squad is selected from the best emerging rugby talent in the Chiefs catchment area and is composed of Chiefs contracted players, wider training group members, under 20s, and selected club players.[5][6]

Records and achievements[edit]

Super Rugby placings[edit]

Super Rugby Results
Year Played Win Draw Loss PF PA Diff BP Points Place Playoffs
1996 11 6 0 5 291 269 +22 4 28 6th
1997 11 4 0 7 272 295 −23 3 19 11th
1998 11 6 0 5 279 291 −12 5 29 7th
1999 11 5 0 6 248 301 −53 6 26 6th
2000 11 3 0 8 257 352 −95 8 20 10th
2001 11 6 0 5 301 330 −29 4 28 6th
2002 11 4 0 7 323 341 −18 8 24 8th
2003 11 2 0 9 257 274 −17 9 17 10th
2004 11 7 0 4 274 251 +23 5 33 4th Lost semi-final to Brumbies
2005 11 5 1 5 272 250 +22 6 28 6th
2006 13 7 1 5 325 298 +27 6 36 7th
2007 13 7 1 5 373 321 +52 10 40 6th
2008 13 7 0 6 348 349 −1 6 34 7th
2009 13 9 0 4 338 236 +102 9 45 2nd Lost final to Bulls
2010 13 4 1 8 340 418 −78 8 26 11th
2011 16 6 1 9 332 348 −16 4 40 10th
2012 16 12 0 4 444 358 +86 8 64 1st Defeated Sharks in final
2013 16 12 0 4 458 364 +94 10 66 1st Defeated Brumbies in final
2014 16 8 2 6 384 378 +6 8 44 5th Lost qualifier to Brumbies
2015 16 10 0 6 372 299 +73 8 48 5th Lost qualifier to Highlanders
2016 15 11 0 4 491 341 +150 7 51 6th Lost semifinal to Hurricanes
2017 15 12 1 2 433 292 +141 7 51 6th Lost semifinal to Crusaders
2018 16 11 0 5 463 368 +95 5 49 5th Lost quarterfinal to Hurricanes

Honours[edit]

Super Rugby (1996–present)[edit]

  • Champions (2)

2012, 2013

  • Runners-up (1)

2009

  • Playoffs Appearances (5)

2004, 2009 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

  • New Zealand Conference Champions (2)

2012, 2013

  • BNZ Cup Winner (2)

2013, 2014

Brisbane Global Tens[edit]

  • Champions (1)

2017

Current squad[edit]

The squad for the 2019 Super Rugby season:[7][a][b][c][d][e][f][g][h]

Chiefs Super Rugby squad

Props

Hookers

Locks

Loose forwards

Halfbacks (Scrum-halves)

First Five-Eighths (Fly-halves)

Midfielders (Centres)

Outside Backs

(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped, ST denotes a short-term signing.
  1. ^ a b Donald was not included in the original squad, but signed before the start of the season.[8]
  2. ^ a b Leger was not included in the original squad, but was named in the squad to face the Highlanders in week 1.[9]
  3. ^ a b Parete was not included in the original squad, but was named in the squad to face the Highlanders in week 1.[9]
  4. ^ a b Mafileo was not included in the original squad, but was a late inclusion in the squad to face the Highlanders in week 1.[10]
  5. ^ a b Slater was not included in the original squad, but was named in the squad to face the Sunwolves in week 3.[11]
  6. ^ a b Coxon was not included in the original squad, but was named in the squad to face the Hurricanes in week 5.[12]
  7. ^ a b Jacobson was not included in the original squad, but was named in the squad to face the Blues in week 14.[13]
  8. ^ a b Leasuasu was not included in the original squad, but was named in the squad to face the Reds in week 15.[14]

Current internationally capped players[edit]

Current coaches and management[edit]

Head coach[edit]

Assistant coaches[edit]

Performance analysts[edit]

  • Regan Hall
  • Mark Roberts

Former coaches and captains[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Captains[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.sanzarrugby.com/superrugby/news/2012-super-rugby-end-of-season-awards/
  2. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/81034166/Chiefs-have-field-day-in-knocking-over-Wales-for-historic-victory
  3. ^ Canes hopeful of tempting Taranaki's finest
  4. ^ Chiefs to play Blues in New Plymouth after Taranaki switch
  5. ^ Burnes, Campbell (23 May 2014). "Rugby: Blues side offer an ideal stern challenge for Juniors". NZ Herald. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Blues XV v Chiefs Development". Getty Images. 13 March 2007.
  7. ^ "Strength across the field for Gallagher Chiefs" (Press release). Chiefs. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Beaver is back for 2019" (Press release). Chiefs. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b "GALLAGHER CHIEFS NAMED FOR INVESTEC SUPER RUGBY OPENER AGAINST THE PULSE ENERGY HIGHLANDERS" (Press release). Chiefs Rugby. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Match Centre - Chiefs vs. Highlanders". SANZAR. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Gallagher Chiefs returns to home soil to face the Sunwolves" (Press release). Chiefs. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Gallagher Chiefs named to face the Hurricanes" (Press release). Chiefs. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Cane to return and Ta'avao to start in 100th Investec Super Rugby match" (Press release). Chiefs. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Gallagher Chiefs set for Reds challenge" (Press release). Chiefs. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.

External links[edit]