Dave Rennie: Success doesn't always lead to player retention
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is being philosophical about the departure at the end of the season of three of his prized players, saying that bringing the Investec Super Rugby title to Hamilton was always going to increase the value of his charges.
With winger Lelia Masaga signing to play in Japan, the Chiefs know that three of their championship winning players will depart at season's end, with the flying back joining All Blacks back Richard Kahui and Craig Clarke overseas.
Rennie said to Newstalk ZB that teams that were being successful, especially in New Zealand, were going to be targets for overseas clubs with mammoth budgets.
"People are looking at who are the big names and who's fronted and they start chasing them," he said.
"It's just the nature of the game in New Zealand, you can't compete with that sort of dollar, and it's a great opportunity for Leila and his family."
Rennie said players had developed significantly in the last 12 months, giving the Chiefs squad experience despite a series of high profile departures when Rennie and co came on board - with Mils Muliaina headlining the loss of some Chiefs veterans prior to 2012.
"The year before we arrived there was a heap of experienced players left, so the guys who stayed were really important to our success last year," he said.
"And now a few more of those experienced guys have been targeted."
However in good news for the region, Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna has signed for Waikato in the ITM Cup, after two seasons with Hawke's Bay.
Craig Clarke is expected to be available to face the Blues this week, with Rennie indicating all effects from concussion have passed and he could be fit to play off the bench.