The Gallagher Chiefs took on numerous adventure activities at Rotorua's Agroventures Adventure Park yesterday as part of the start to their Summer Roadie trip.

The team is to meet with communities in 19 towns that cover the Chiefs region.

The five-day road trip will then be followed by two trial games in preparation for the Chiefs' 2016 Investec Super Rugby campaign.

Chiefs players Sam Cane, Johan Bardoul and Damian McKenzie all said jet boating was an activity at the park they were looking forward to.


Reporoa's Sam Cane, who used to travel into Rotorua each Saturday for junior rugby, said the road trip was "a good chance to see fans in smaller communities".

"Some of the strongest and proudest supporters are in those areas."

The locations so far had seen "heaps of kids" wearing Chiefs jerseys and wanting to grab autographs and photos from the team, he said.

They had been split up into four mini teams, named after local tribes from the area, and would be competing against each other in "a bit of in-team rivalry", he said.

Bay of Plenty player Johan Bardoul said they had already had team challenges such as tug-of-war in Cambridge with Hautapu Rugby Club and wood sawing in Tokoroa.

There had been a good turnout so far, with around 200 plus kids who had "all been pretty pumped", he said.

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"It is pretty satisfying as a player to know we've got supporters wherever we go in the region. It encourages us to keep doing what we do."

Chiefs player Damian McKenzie said the road trip was "a good way to interact with communities we don't get to see much".

The interaction with children led to "reminiscing of when you were that age" and how exciting it used to be at that age getting autographs, he said.

"It's great to give back to the community."

The team's first preseason fixture against the Waratahs will take place at Rotorua International Stadium on Friday, February 12 at 4pm.

Sam Cane said the stadium's field was "always in good nick" and it would be great to see as many locals as they could.

Fact file:

* What: The Gallagher Chiefs Summer Roadie

* When: Until Friday 29 January

* Where: 19 towns in the Chiefs region