Super Rugby champions the Chiefs have formally announced their squad for the 2013 campaign and matches in Taupo, Tauranga and Pukekohe.
The Chiefs re-signed many of their players during the 2012 season, and added four players in the selection process to complete the 2013 squad: former All Black Ross Filipo who returned to Wellington after playing rugby in France and England, New Zealand U20 hooker Rhys Marshall from Taranaki, Canterbury's Fijian born winger Patrick Osborne and Wellington and former NZ U20 prop Solomona Sakalia.
"We are very happy with our squad. We know a lot about these players, their work ethic and character, therefore we have picked the new guys coming in on those attributes too," coach Dave Rennie told the Chiefs website.
The Chiefs have retained the majority of their winning squad from last season with the transition of Augustine Pulu, Josh Hohneck and Bundee Aki from the wider training squad into the main squad. The squad contains five current All Blacks, seven Maori All Blacks and seven new recruits.
Once again, the Chiefs have confirmed their commitment to being a truly regional team by taking Super Rugby matches to as many parts of the region as possible by playing games at Taupo (pre-season), Tauranga and Pukekohe. The rest of the fixtures will be played at Waikato Stadium, including an afternoon game against the Reds.
"We know how important it is to get our region behind us and taking the rugby to the provinces is a way to help achieve this," said coach Rennie.
Chiefs squad: Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki, Gareth Anscombe, Sam Cane, Craig Clarke, Nick Crosswell, Aaron Cruden, Hikawera Elliot, Ross Filipo, Mike Fitzgerald, Romana Graham, Josh Hohneck, Andrew Horrell, Richard Kahui, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tanerau Latimer, Fritz Lee, Brendon Leonard, Rhys Marshall, Lelia Masaga, Liam Messam, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Patrick Osborne, Augustine Pulu, Brodie Retallick, Robbie Robinson, Mahonri Schwalger, Toby Smith, Solomona Sakalia, Ben Tameifuna, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.