Chiefs secure scrumhalf trio
NEWS: The Chiefs have secured the services of three quailty scrumhalves for the 2018 Super Rugby season.
The Chiefs welcome Rotorua-born Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi who will join the team on a two-year term. The 22-year-old Taranaki star has just completed his second season of Super Rugby with the Hurricanes.
Tahuriorangi completes the trio of exciting No.9 signings, with experienced Hawke's Bay scrumhalf Brad Weber, 26, committing to the Chiefs until 2020 and promising young Counties Manukau scrumhalf Jonathan Taumateine signing for two more years.
"We've secured a great balance of experience and x-factor with the signings of Brad, Te Toiroa and Jonathan," incoming Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper said in an interview on the team's website.
"Having worked with Brad in the Maori All Blacks and with Te Toiroa in Taranaki for the past few years, I'm excited and have a lot of confidence in what they'll bring to the Chiefs in 2018 and beyond. I'm really looking forward to working with Jonathan, at just 20-years of age he has a big future ahead of him and will create great competition amongst our three halfbacks for the starting spot."
Taumateine, 20, said he was excited to continue his rugby journey with the Chiefs.
"It's been a really enjoyable and challenging year for me experiencing my first season of Super Rugby with the Chiefs. I've learned a lot this season and I'm excited to continue learning and growing in the Chiefs environment both as a player and as a person."
Experienced Chiefs scrumhalf Weber said: "I'm pumped to announce I've re-signed with the Chiefs. The Chiefs gave me my first opportunity as an unknown player four years ago and I'm really looking forward to carrying on playing for this team that I love. The culture here is second to none and there’s no place I’d rather be as I strive to reach the goals I've set for the next few years."
It's a homecoming for Tahuriorangi who cited family as his main motivator for the move north.
"Coops [Colin Cooper] has really driven the importance of whanau in my time being coached by him, both in Taranaki and with the Maori All Blacks. Rugby is important but family is the reason for everything, so to be able to be based nearer Rotorua and to continue my Super Rugby career in an environment where whanau is number one and I can keep growing as a player is exciting."
Weber has played 41 Super Rugby games for the Chiefs to date. He was a mainstay in the Chiefs team in 2016 and played a starring role in his side's celebrated win over Wales.
Weber had a breakout year in 2015, earning his All Blacks debut against Samoa in Apia, as well as being a key performer for the Ranfurly Shield-winning Waikato side. Weber is a former Junior World Champion, having won the Title with the New Zealand U20s side in 2011. His 2017 on-field aspirations suffered a set-back when he fractured his femur during this year's inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens Final. The 26-year-old will make his highly anticipated return to rugby for Hawke's Bay in the 2017 National Provincial Championship.
This season has been a year of growth for Taumateine. He has made six strong appearances for the Chiefs in the Super Rugby competition, boasting an 87 percent tackle completion rate.
The Counties Manukau scrumhalf was part of the side that won the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens competition and came off the bench to face the British & Irish Lions team in June. The 20-year-old is a Wesley College graduate known for his quick feet and high skillset.
Tahuriorangi is a product of Rotorua Boys High School. He was a key member of his Schools 1st XV, with his strong performances earning him selection into the Chiefs U17s squad. In 2014, Tahuriorangi moved to New Plymouth to join the Taranaki Rugby Academy.
Impressive performances in 2015 saw Tahuriorangi selected for the New Zealand U20s team and the New Zealand Barbarians; he then made the Taranaki NPC team, which capped off a stellar year. The 22-year-old has spent two seasons at the Hurricanes, starting against the British & Irish Lions, as well as making 10 appearances in Super Rugby to date.
The promising player also has experience playing under Colin Cooper with Taranaki, as well as being named in the Maori All Blacks squad for the 2017 New Zealand Lions Series.