The Chiefs have announced the Chiefs Development training squad and programme for 2013 which includes three matches in March.
The side will play first-class matches against the Blues Development team followed by matches against Tonga A and Samoa A as part of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup.
The Chiefs Development training squad includes a wider group of selected ITM Cup players and younger players from the Chiefs region who will receive skills coaching sessions by Chiefs coaches Dave Rennie, Tom Coventry, Andrew Strawbridge and Wayne Smith together with the Chiefs Development team coaches, Johnny Walters, Carl Hoeft and Dave Dillon. Bay of Plenty coach Kevin Schuler, Waikato coach Chris Gibbes and Counties Manukau coach Tana Umaga will also provide resource coach assistance at trainings when available.
The Chiefs Development teams to play the matches in March will be selected from the Development training squad players together with available Chiefs squad and wider squad players.
Chiefs High Performance Manager Chris Tindall said: "The Chiefs Development programme is an important part of the Chiefs season and our approach of working together with our Chiefs region provincial unions in the identifying, coaching and development of players across the Chiefs region for ITM Cup and Super Rugby.
"From his performance in the Chief Development programme last year Bundee Aki earned selection as a Chiefs Wider Squad replacement during last season and being contracted for the 2013 Chiefs squad."
Chiefs Development Team Matches:
March 10: Chiefs Development v Blues Development @ Eden Park, kick off early afternoon TBC; March 23: Chiefs Development v Tonga A @ Te Kuiti, kick off 2.45pm; March 28: Chiefs Development v Samoa A @ Albert Park, Te Awamutu, kick off 5.15pm. Tickets to the matches will be available on match day at the gate.
Chiefs Development Training Squad 2013:
Props: Matt Talaese (Counties Man.) Pingi Tala'apitaga (Bay of Plenty) Loni Uhila (Waikato) John Tu'ungafasi (Waikato) Joe Walsh (Waikato) Josh Davey (Waikato) Hookers: Suliasi Taufalele (Counties Man.) Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty) Kalifi Pongi (Counties Man.) Hame Faiva (Waikato) Locks: Sam Kilgour (Waikato) Keepa Mewett (Bay of Plenty) Nick Ross (Waikato) Arin Dunstar (King Country) Brian Alainu'uese (Waikato) James Tucker (Waikato) Troy Callander (Bay of Plenty) Loose Forwards: Johan Bardoul (Bay of Plenty) Sonny Afililonga (Waikato) Jacob Ale (Waikato) Maama Vaipulu (Counties Man.) Jossan Levien (Waikato) Kane Jacobson (Waikato) Rory Grice (Waikato) Carl Axtens (Bay of Plenty) Adam Burn (Waikato) Jeff Thwaites (Bay of Plenty) Halfbacks: Josh Hall (Bay of Plenty) Jamie Nutbrown (Bay of Plenty) Ruan du Ploy (Waikato) Ben Draper (King Country) First Fives: Wharenui Hawera (Waikato) Tom Halse (Counties Man.) Thomas Bird (Waikato) Brook Treymayne (Thames Valley) Midfield Backs: Tyrone Lefau (Counties Man.) Jacob Proctor (Waikato) Marnus Hanley (Waikato) Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato) Niko Malo (Waikato) Dillon Collier (Waikato) Outside Backs: Toni Pulu (Counties Man.) Junior Tofa-Va'a (Bay of Plenty) Semisi Masirewa (Waikato) Sione Molia (Counties Man.) Elijah Nicholas (Bay of Plenty) Mason Walker (Bay of Plenty) Joe Reynolds (Counties Man.) Joe Webber (Waikato). Not available due to injury: Simon Lemalu (Counties Man.), Fraser Armstrong (Waikato), Adam Cathcart (Counties Man.), Haami Martin (Waikato), Regan Ware (Waikato), Toby Arnold (Bay of Plenty) and Josh Gascoigne (Waikato).