The Chiefs Rugby Club have announced the Gallagher Chiefs will host the Blues in Waihi at Waihi Athletic Rugby Club on Friday, January 17.
It will be the Gallagher Chiefs only pre-season fixture in the lead up to their 2020 Investec Super Rugby campaign under new head coach Warren Gatland. It will be the first time the Gallagher Chiefs have held a pre-season fixture in Waihi.
Chiefs rugby club chief executive officer Michael Collins says it was great to be able to provide Thames Valley Rugby Union and Waihi Athletic Rugby Club the opportunity to host the pre-season fixture.
“It is fantastic to be able to take our only pre-season fixture to Waihi. Both Thames Valley Rugby Union and Waihi Athletic Rugby Club have been great to work with and will continue to play a vital role in the lead up to this fixture.
“Waihi Athletic Rugby Club hosted an Under 20’s fixture between the Chiefs Under 20s and Blues Under 20s in 2018, so it is fitting they now get to host the two Investec Super Rugby sides in January.
“Waihi is a great community and will be thriving in the January school holidays. We trust we will see the community join us and other fans throwing their support behind the Gallagher Chiefs,” says Michael.
Thames Valley Rugby Union general manager Brett Barnham says the event would be huge for the region and their provincial union.
“We are extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to host our Gallagher Chiefs and the Blues. It will be the first time our union and Waihi has hosted such a high calibre game. It is recognition by the Chiefs Rugby Clubs, that Thames Valley Rugby Union alongside King Country Rugby Union are an important part of the franchise.
“We enjoyed hosting the Under 20s fixture between the Chiefs and Blues last summer and we know we will very much enjoy doing the same this coming summer. It will be a huge event for Waihi and Thames Valley Rugby Union,” says Brett.
Waihi Athletic club spokesperson Matt Rolston says the club were working hard to prepare for the teams’ arrival and that the community would be buzzing from the announcement.
“The Waihi Athletic Rugby Club are honoured to host and welcome the Gallagher Chiefs to Waihi. It will be a fantastic occasion for the club and great for our wider community. The whole community will be buzzing knowing that the Gallagher Chiefs are coming to town and it will be great for locals to be able to see their Super Rugby stars up close and personal.
“A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to keep our club and our facilities to a very high standard, to have that hard work recognised with this game is hugely rewarding although there may be a few more extra hours going in over summer now to ensure the field is up to Super Rugby standard.”
This fixture will kick off at 3pm, with tickets available to purchase on Wednesday, December 4. Tickets will be free for all 2020 Gallagher Chiefs members. Gallagher Chiefs members will be able to register online to redeem their free tickets before Sunday, January 12.
For non-members, prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 14 years and free for children under five years.
The Gallagher Chiefs will kick off their Investec Super Rugby season against the Blues at Eden Park on Friday, January 13. They will return home in round two to play the Crusaders in their first home game of the season at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday, February 8.