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Thompson steps into number two jersey for the final

Thompson steps into number two jersey for the final

All BlacksJune 20, 2024

With All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho ruled out of the Chiefs team for the DHL Super Rugby Pacific final, 24-year-old Hawke's Bay rake Tyrone Thompson has stepped into the crucial position.

There was huge concern over who would pull on the pivotal number two jersey in the final after both Taukei'aho and Bradley Slater went down in the semifinal against the Hurricanes, with midfielder Rameka Poihipi taking on the unusual responsibility of throwing the ball into the lineout. 

Thompson has made 21 appearances for the Chiefs over three seasons but has largely sat behind Taukei'aho and Slater on the pecking order in 2024.

A sold-out crowd of over 40,000 fans is expected to create and electric atmosphere at Eden Park.
 
“The team are embracing finals week and look forward to what will be a massive occasion for rugby,” said Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan.
 
“The Blues have impressed with how they have gone about their work, establishing a harder edge under Vern whilst maintaining their ability to hurt you through their explosive backs. I can’t see them wavering from their willingness to kick long, pressure the ball and go to war through the middle of the park, so we at least know what’s coming our way.”

A long time between championships for both clubs.

Who takes it all in 2024?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/xg61kskYwS

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) June 18, 2024

By contrast, the Gallagher Chiefs have had a rollercoaster season of results but have been dominant in their quarter and semifinal matches against tough opponents.
 
“We produced some good footy when it mattered and feel battle-hardened for a final. Our leaders have really stepped up, driven our preparation and led by example through their performances.
 
“It’s unfortunate to have lost some key players through injury, but no team has been immune to this, and you won’t see us worrying about something we can’t control. We are genuinely excited for the players who now get their opportunity. In Tyrone Thompson and Manaaki Selby-Rickit, we have two quality players who will serve the team extremely well," said McMillan.
 
Thompson shifts into the starting hooker position following last weekend’s injury to Samisoni Taukei’aho and Selby-Rickit comes onto the bench, replacing Naitoa Ah Kuoi. The return of Shaun Stevenson sees Daniel Rona shifted to the reserves to provide impact for the backs.

Win or go home part ||| pic.twitter.com/gCzUF6SCUV

— Gallagher Chiefs (@ChiefsRugby) June 19, 2024

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