Kahui to provide Chiefs with fitness boost
May 27, 2009
Richard Kahui looks set to take his place in the Chiefs' starting line-up against the Bulls © Getty Images
All Black centre Richard Kahui looks set to provide the Chiefs with a huge fitness boost as they prepare for their first Super 14 final against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Kahui missed out on the Chiefs' semi-final win over the Hurricanes with a calf strain, but took a full part in training ahead of the team announcement. Utility back Dwayne Sweeney had looked set to reprise his role in the centre for the game, but fan-favourite Kahui looks set to pip him to a place in the final XV.
"I had been quite nervous because it was my first real full training. I got through it really good," Kahui said. "So things are going pretty well at the moment, and fingers crossed I am named in the side."
The Chiefs will be heading into a hostile atmosphere at a sold-out Loftus Versfeld, with the rugby-mad South African fans gearing up to roar their side to a second Super 14 title in three seasons. Kahui suggested nothing the crowd will do or say will surprise the Chiefs.
"We'll be playing in front of a hostile crowd of about 55,000 people," he said. "I got a text the other day telling me it would be hard for us to win, because we've got the altitude, the travel, the sleep patterns and things like that. But as a team we are all really confident and I think the adversity has brought us together.
"We know we are good enough to beat this side if we play as well as we can. If they get a roll on they are a tough team to stop, but there is a good confidence, and a quiet confidence, throughout our team."
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.