November 29, 2004

Summer’s Here and so Are the Chiefs for Early Training

Summer is here and for the Chiefs that means the start of pre- season training.

The Super 12 team kicks off their training on Monday with some light fitness work at Porritt Stadium in the morning, followed by team meetings and some afternoon aerobic work at Waikato Stadium.

Coach Ian Foster said the Chiefs had traditionally got together for three weeks' training before Christmas and after a break they would return on January 10.

The team will spend two weeks in Hamilton under fitness trainer Nic Gill's control before heading to a camp in Whangamata.

The four All Blacks in Europe, Marty Holah, Jono Gibbes, Steven Bates and Byron Kelleher, are expected to join the squad for some of the week in Whangamata.

Sosene Anesi has been released to play for the New Zealand sevens team, so there will be 23 of the 28 squad members attending on Monday.

However, there is an extensive injury list headed by Keith Robinson and Sitiveni Sivivatu, who are recovering from major surgery, and hooker Tom Willis, who is still having back problems.

Robinson and Sivivatu are not due to return until round five.

Others rehabilitating from injuries, but expected to be fit in time for the first game on February 21, are Michael Collins (arm), Aleki Lutui (arm), Kevin Senio (ankle) and Mark Ranby (shoulder).

Foster said the reports were that Gibbes, the Chiefs skipper, had a substantial calf injury but he should also be fit for the game against the Hurricanes in Hamilton.