Ah Kuoi to celebrate 50th match

Feb 21 • General News, International, National, New Zealand, Super Rugby, Super Rugby Fixtures, Super Rugby News • 107 Views • Comments Off on Ah Kuoi to celebrate 50th match

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Gallagher Chiefs forward Naitoa Ah Kuoi will start his 2024 DHL Super Rugby Pacific at home with a 50th milestone celebration.

The Bay of Plenty lock and loose forward debuted for the Gallagher Chiefs in 2020 and has gone from strength to strength, being named in the All Blacks XV squad last season. Well-known for his charismatic personality, Ah Kuoi has become a core part of the Chiefs whānau during his time with the club.

Ah Kuoi said of his impending achievement: “It’s pretty cool man and I’m very grateful! I remember coming into the club and seeing the faces of the people who hit 50 games and thought man, imagine doing that! So yeah it’s a huge milestone for me and the people who have supported me on my rugby journey.”

Completing the tight-five this week alongside Ah Kuoi will be Aidan Ross, Bradley Slater, Reuben O’Neill and Tupou Vaa’i.

Captain Luke Jacobson will start in the No.8 jersey with Samipeni Finau and Kaylum Boshier rounding out the loose forwards. Xavier Roe will run out at halfback with Damian McKenzie commanding first-five.

The electric Etene Nanai-Seturo returns on the wing with Liam Coombes-Fabling and Shaun Stevenson completing the back three. Meanwhile, All Blacks Quinn Tupaea and Anton Lienert-Brown will assemble in the midfield.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said: “It’s an exciting way to kick off the DHL Super Rugby Pacific season, and we look forward to hosting the Crusaders who are a formidable opposition.

“There were some tough conversations in selecting the team this week, with several of our younger squad members impressing through pre-season and pushing hard for inclusion. But you can’t underestimate the value of time in the middle, so we have selected a largely experienced and settled side who understand what will be coming at them come Friday night.”

The season opener will kick-off at 7.05pm this Friday at FMG Stadium Waikato with the Chiefs Manawa to play the Blues as a curtain raiser at 4.05pm as part of their pre-season preparations.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Crusaders:

1. Aidan Ross

2. Bradley Slater

3. Reuben O’Neill

4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi

5. Tupou Vaa’i

6. Samipeni Finau

7. Kaylum Boshier

8. Luke Jacobson (Captain)

9. Xavier Roe

10. Damian McKenzie

11. Etene Nanai-Seturo

12. Quinn Tupaea

13. Anton Lienert-Brown

14. Liam Coombes-Fabling

15. Shaun Stevenson

Reserves

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho

17. Ollie Norris

18. George Dyer

19. Jimmy Tupou

20. Simon Parker

21. Cortez Ratima

22. Josh Ioane

23. Daniel Rona

Match Details

23 February 2024

Curtain Raiser: Chiefs Manawa v Blues

Kick-Off 4.05pm

Gallagher Chiefs v Crusaders

Kick-Off 7.05pm

Location: FMG Stadium Waikato

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