Super Rugby: Mils Muliaina Returns For Chiefs Opener
Chiefs Media Release –
All Black centurion Mils Muliaina will start at fullback for the two time Super Rugby champion Chiefs against the Crusaders in Christchurch this Friday.
Muliaina has been playing in Japan for the last two seasons and hasn’t appeared on New Zealand soil since the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He will line up alongside fellow new-comers Robbie Fruean and Jamie Mackintosh who join the Hamilton based side from the Crusaders and Highlanders respectively.
Chiefs Coach Dave Rennie said: “We have a lot of respect for the Crusaders and are excited by this match up. The boys have been training since November and we have been planning since August, so we are really looking forward to the competition starting properly.”
Friday night’s match will be a great opportunity for some younger squad members who have shown great potential in the last few weeks. This includes flanker Tevita Kolomatangi who starts in the number seven jersey while Nathan Harris, James Lowe and Anton Lienert-Brown if confirmed to play will get their chance to make debuts off the bench.
The Chiefs will play their first home game at Waikato Stadium the following week on Saturday 1 March at 7.35pm against the Highlanders.
Chiefs Starting XV – 1 .Jamie Mackintosh, 2. Rhys Marshall, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Michael Fitzgerald, 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Tevita Koloamatangi, 8. Kane Thompson, 9. Augustine Pulu, 10. Aaron Cruden ©, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Charlie Ngatai, 13. Robbie Fruean, 14. Tim Nanai-Williams, 15. Mils Muliaina.
Bench – 16. Nathan Harris, 17. Pauliasi Manu, 18. Ben Afeaki, 19. Matt Symons/Liam Squire, 20. Nick Crosswell, 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22. Andrew Horrell/Anton Lienert-Brown, 23. James Lowe