Waikato Chiefs select 4 newcomers
For their first pre-season warm-up game against the Brumbies on Sunday, the Waikato Chiefs have selected four of their 2000 recruits- Hare Makiri, Isitolo Maka, James Kerr and George Leaupepe.
Ex All Black centre Scott McLeod will play at second five eighth and Chresten Davis, who had an outstanding NPC in 1999 as a mobile , athletic lock , will play on the blindside.The full side is :
1. Michael Collins 2. Greg Smith 3. Paul Martin 4. Royce Willis 5. Glenn Taylor (c) 6. Chresten Davis 7. Hare Makiri 8. Isitolo Maka 9. Rhys Duggan 10. Glen Jackson 11. James Kerr 12. Scott McLeod 13. George Leaupepe 14. Roger Randle 15. Bruce Reihana
subs : 16. Damien Karauna 17. Keith Lowen 18. Mark Ranby 19. Loki Crichton 20. Ben Willis 21. Deon Muir 22. Martin Holah 23. George Stowers 24. Simon Kerr 25. David Briggs 26. Paul Mitchell.
The Chiefs are one of New Zealand's most serious Super 12 under-achievers, but this side is full of international experience and exciting attacking potential. In the forwards Willis, Taylor and Maka provide formidable power and ball winning capability. Maka, out of favour with the All Black management in 1999 and dropped from the Otago Highlanders' squad for 2000, has a huge amount of motivation to prove himself. Taylor is one of New Zealand's best locks and had an outstanding NPC in 1999 as captain of Northland.
In the backs, Duggan is a feisty half back , a handful for any opposition back row. McLeod and Leaupepe in midfield have considerable international experience, for New Zealand and Samoa respectively, and Reihana at full back is one of New Zealand's most excitingly versatile backs.Better things can be expected of this squad in 2000.