Chiefs ready to blow out the cobwebs against Moana Pasifika

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Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan said the transfer to Queenstown had presented some challenges. He felt for the families of the squad members and coaching staff and the home fans who had not seen as much rugby as they would have liked in Hamilton over the last two years.


But he said that was all part of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the key thing was understanding and controlling what they could.


"Everybody wants to make sure the Super Rugby is played and we minimise the risk of the competition being put on hold or cancelled. We will do whatever we can to keep the wheels moving forward," he said.


"Hopefully at some stage in the near future we get back to some sense of normality but for now we still have challenges and we'll keep fronting up to them."


Changes to MIQ requirements was good news, he said, but at the same time, the Super Rugby teams wanted to be playing with fit, healthy bodies and, while there might be a freer flow between Australia and New Zealand, they wanted to be putting out players who were fit and well.


“Until we get past Covid that is something we are going to have to deal with irrespective of borders.”

Clayton McMillan


In the immediate future, it was about trying to maximise the team environment within the Queenstown bubble to ensure that the fine margins associated with the competition were moving in the Chiefs' favour come game time.


"We've got some pretty creative minds and we've got on the front foot pretty quick to make sure we're at the front of the race around creating a good environment down there," he said.


Within the squad, there had been an emphasis on ensuring new All Blacks, second five-eighths Quinn Tupaea and lock Josh Lord, came back and concentrated on getting back to what had gained them international selection in the first place and not trying to do much.


"We'd like to give them more responsibility but primarily for young men its just around getting their preparation right and going out and nailing their own job," he said.


McMillan said the changed nature of the competition this year, and its length provided more scope for player rotation than was possible in the more concentrated format played last year.



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