WATCH: TEMPERS FLARE as All Black trades punches in heated training ground brawl

Jared Wright
Chiefs forwards Samipeni Finau and Scotsman Hamilton Burr during a training sessions brawl (credit: Newshub).

Chiefs forwards Samipeni Finau and Scotsman Hamilton Burr during a training sessions brawl (credit: Newshub).

The Chiefs are fired up for their opening Super Rugby Pacific match of the season, and training ground footage of two players getting stuck into one another is proof.

Tempers flared in training this week as All Blacks forward Samipeni Finau and Scottish lock Hamilton Burr traded punches.

It is not clear what caused the friendly fire during the forwards session, but the pair both seemed to land shots after the emotions boiled over during the mauling training.

Finau, who earned his Test debut for the All Blacks last year after a stellar Super Rugby season, and Burr both landed a blow or two in the footage captured by Newshub as team-mates tried to separate the pair.

Taking that aggression into their season opener

The Chiefs will be hoping to harness that aggression positively this weekend as they tackle the Crusaders in their opening game in what is a rematch of last season’s final – which the Chiefs lost 25-20.

“We can’t change what happened last year, but we can certainly have an influence on what happens on Friday,” McMillan told Newshub.

“If all of the energy is directed there, then we give ourselves a chance.”

Finau has been named in the starting XV to tackle the Crusaders, starting in the number six jumper, and is joined in the back-row by Kaylum Boshier and captain and fellow All Black Luke Jacobson.

Naitoa Ah Kuoi earns his 50th cap for the Chiefs in the clash as he partners Tupou Vaa’i in the second row with loosehead prop Aidan Ross, hooker Bradley Slater and tighthead prop Reuben O’Neill making up the front row.

Damian McKenzie starts at fly-half with Xavier Roe on his inside while Quinn Tupaea makes his long-awaited return in the centres alongside fellow All Black Anton Lienert-Brown.

Shaun Stevenson starts at full-back in an exciting back-three trio with Etene Nanai-Seturo and Liam Coombes-Fabling.

Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ollie Norris, George Dyer, Jimmy Tupou, Simon Parker, Cortez Ratima, Josh Ioane and Daniel Rona are all named on the bench for the Chiefs.

While the Chiefs were defeated in the final of last season’s Super Rugby Pacific season, they did manage to claim back-to-back regular-season victories over the Crusaders, beating them 31-10 in Christchurch and 34-24 in Waikato.

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Chiefs side to face the Crusaders

Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Liam Coombes-Fabling, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Xavier Roe, 8 Luke Jacobson (c), 7 Kaylum Boshier, 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 3 Reuben O’Neill, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 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

Date: Friday, February 23
Venue: FMG Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19:05 local (06:05 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Reuben Keane (Australia)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

READ MORE: Loose Pass: The start of Super Rugby Pacific and some Six Nations questions