Sharks: Chiefs en route for Durban clash

2010-02-08 00:00

THE Chiefs squad of 26 left New Zealand yesterday, bound for Durban where they will play their Super 14 openers against the Sharks on Saturday night.

While the Chiefs had no late injury scares, they have left All Black fullback Mils Muliaina, their dangerous wing Lelia Masaga and lock Romana Graham at home.

The Chiefs, captained by abrasive number eight Sione Lauaki, played their final warm-up game against the Hurricanes before departing for South Africa. They lost 12-17 in a game played in the heat of early-afternoon to prepare them for the humid conditions expected in Durban.

All Black scrumhalf Brendon Leonard, who featured prominently in the game, said: “it was a confidence building hit out before we head off for Durban”.

“The hot conditions certainly made it difficult, but that’s what we needed from this game.”

Chiefs coach Ian Foster said he was happy with the preparation.

“It has been pleasing to come through the pre-season with no more significant injuries and having shown good progression through our three games.”

Chiefs squad:

Ben Afeaki, Colin Bourke, Luke Braid, Callum Bruce, Craig Clarke, Aled de Malmanche, Mike Delany, Stephen Donald, Hikawera Elliot, Jason Hona, Jarrad Hoeata, Richard Kahui, Tanerau Latimer, Sione Lauaki (captain), Brendon Leonard, James McGougan, Liam Messam, Tim Nanai-Williams, Kevin O’Neill, Junior Poluleuligaga, Culum Retallick, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Dwayne Sweeney.

The Chiefs play the Sharks in Durban on Saturday (7.10pm), the Lions in Johannesburg on February 20 and the Western Force in Perth on 28 February.

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