NZ Rugby World

Lock stock and two smoking barrels


It's clear the Chiefs have concerns at lock and first fiveeighth. Tupou Vaa'i had a breakout year at lock for the Chiefs in 2020 and ended the year as an All Black, but he's still green in his profession­al career.

He and fellow youngster Naitoa Ah Kuoi again appear set to play significan­t roles. Depending on how they decide to use veteran Mitchell Brown, they may both be starting or one will be used from the bench.

It’s great for the developmen­t of their stocks, but how consistent will they be?

It's a similar case at first five-eighth.

With Aaron Cruden moving on, the Chiefs have a choice to make: do they continue to rely on Kaleb Trask and hope he shows improvemen­t from his rookie campaign in 2020, or do they hand the reins to

Bryn Gatland?

Neither option provides much excitement on name value, and while they have shown their ability at provincial level, neither has really kicked on at Super Rugby - Gatland is now playing with his third Super Rugby team since 2017.

Can either of these options provide the creativity and vision that could be required to bring this Chiefs attack to life?

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