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 . Their primary home ground is Waikato Stadium . The Chiefs play in black, red and yellow coloured jerseys. The team competes in the Super Rugby competition, previously known as the Super 12 from 1996 to 2005 and Super 14 from 2006 to 2010. The Chiefs are one of the competition's five New Zealand sides.Until 2004, the Chiefs were the only New Zealand side to never 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 made 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. Their opponents, the Rut Sharks, went into the match as underdogs. The Chiefs defeated the Sharks 37-6, winning their first title. In 2013, the Chiefs became the fourth team in Super Rugby -history to record back-to-back title wins, when they defeated the Brumbies 27-22 in front of a full home crowd at Waikato Stadium.

History


The Chiefs were founded in 1995 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 Rut 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 Rut Crusaders 20-17. They subsequently hosted the final for the first time in the teams's history, comprehensively defeating the Rut 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.In 2013, the Chiefs again won 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.

Current Standings


#PWDLGoalsPts
1Crusaders10802324:20237
2Chiefs10802342:23837
3Highlanders11803295:20537
4Hurricanes11704331:24036
5Stormers10613265:17531
6Waratahs10604256:18930
7Brumbies11704277:24729
8Bulls10613258:22128
9Lions9603268:23527
10Sharks10514206:17126
11Blues9513230:21825
12Melbourne Rebels10505235:25823
13Cheetahs11308296:29616
14Jaguares9207237:25412
15Reds11218198:30912
16Western Force10208183:32110
17Sunwolves10118219:3799
18Southern Kings10109190:4524

Recent Matches


Chiefs Last 5 Results
DateHomeScoreAwayNotesDetails
29 Apr 2016Chiefs24 - 22Sharks   Details
27 May 2016Waratahs45 - 25Chiefs   Details
27 Feb 2016Crusaders21 - 27Chiefs   Details
26 Mar 2016Chiefs53 - 10Western Force   Details
23 Apr 2016Hurricanes27 - 28Chiefs   Details


Chiefs Next 5 Matches
DateHomevsAwayNotesDetails
01 Jul 2016ChiefsvsCrusaders   Details
08 Jul 2016RedsvsChiefs   Details
16 Jul 2016HighlandersvsChiefs   Details

Franchise area and Ownership


Franchise area

Since 1999, the Chiefs have 'represented' the provincial unions of Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, King Country, Thames Valley and Waikato. In 2013, Taranaki changed its allegiance to the Chiefs, after severing ties with the Rut Hurricanes, which it had been part of since 1996. 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 in effect been able to play a national team in all but name 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 All Blacks dominance no longer existed, so the Chiefs arranged a swap with the Blues. North Harbour and Northland were "returned" to the Blues in exchange for Counties Manukau and Thames Valley.

Ownership

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 license, 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 . As part of the Taranaki Rugby Union's investment, the Chiefs will hold two matches per year at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.

Grounds

New Plymouth Hamilton Rotorua Manukau
Yarrow Stadium Waikato Stadium Rotorua Int'l Stadium Ecolight Stadium
Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 26,000Capacity:12,000
- - --

Development team


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.

Records and achievements


Super Rugby placings

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 Rut Highlanders

Honours


Super Rugby (2011-present)

  • Champions (2) 2012, 2013
  • New Zealand Conference Champions (2) 2012, 2013
  • BNZ Cup Winner (2) 2013, 2014
  • Playoffs Appearances (2) 2014, 2015

    Super 12/14 (1996-2010)

  • Runners-up (1) 2009
  • Playoff Appearances (1) 2004

    Current squad

    The squad for the 2016 Super Rugby season :
    Chiefs Super Rugby squad
    Props
  • Mitchell Graham
  • Nepo Laulala
  • Pauliasi Manu
  • Atunaisa Moli
  • Siate Tokolahi
  • Hiroshi Yamashita
  • Siegfried Fisiihoi WTG
  • Kane Hames ST
  • Hookers
  • Hikawera Elliot
  • Nathan Harris
  • Rhys Marshall WTG
  • Locks
  • Michael Allardice
  • Dominic Bird
  • Brodie Retallick
  • James TuckerWTG
  • Loose forwards
  • Johan Bardoul
  • Sam Cane (c)
  • Sam Henwood
  • Mitch Karpik
  • Tevita Koloamatangi
  • Michael Leitch
  • Tom Sanders
  • Taleni Seu
  • Ma'ama Vaipulu
  • Lachlan Boshier ST
  • Halfbacks (Scrum-halves)
  • Tawera Kerr-Barlow
  • Augustine Pulu
  • Brad Weber
  • Kayne Hammington ST
  • First Five-Eighths (Fly-halves)
  • Aaron Cruden (c)
  • Stephen Donald WTG
  • Midfielders (Centres)
  • Andrew Horrell
  • Anton Lienert-Brown
  • Charlie Ngatai
  • Seta Tamanivalu
  • Sonny Bill Williams
  • Sam Vaka WTG
  • Wings
  • Glen Fisiiahi
  • James Lowe
  • Toni Pulu
  • Chase Tiatia
  • Latu Vaeno WTG
  • Fullbacks
  • Damian McKenzie
  • Sam McNicol
  • Shaun Stevenson WTG
  • (c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped, WTG denotes Wider Training Group players.
    ST denotes players not initially included in the named squad, but subsequently signed on a short-term deal.

    Current internationally capped players

  • Dominic Bird (2)
  • Sam Cane (31)
  • Aaron Cruden (37)
  • Stephen Donald (23)
  • Hikawera Elliot (4)
  • Nathan Harris (2)
  • Tawera Kerr-Barlow (20)
  • Nepo Laulala (4)
  • Michael Leitch (47)
  • Charlie Ngatai (1)
  • Augustine Pulu (2)
  • Brodie Retallick (47)
  • Brad Weber (1)
  • Sonny Bill Williams (33)
  • Hiroshi Yamashita (49)
  • Current Coaches and management


    Head coach

  • Dave Rennie

    Assistant coaches

  • Andrew Strawbridge
  • Kieron Keane
  • Neil Barnes
  • Performance Analysts

  • Regan Hall
  • Mark Ray
  • Former Coaches and Captains


    Coaches

  • Brad Meurant (1996-97)
  • Ross Cooper (1998-2000)
  • John Mitchell (2001)
  • Kevin Greene (2002-03)
  • Ian Foster (2004-11)
  • Captains

  • Richard Turner (1996)
  • Ian Jones (1997)
  • Errol Brain (1998)
  • Michael Collins (1999)
  • Glenn Taylor (2000)
  • Deon Muir (2001-02)
  • Jono Gibbes (2002-08)
  • Mils Muliaina (2008-11)
  • Liam Messam (2011-15)
  • Craig Clarke (2012-13)
  • Aaron Cruden (2014-)
  • Brodie Retallick (2014)
  • Sam Cane (2016-)