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Chiefs rookie eager to wear No.9 jersey

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/04/2017

Jonathan Taumateine of the Chiefs wants to make the most of the opportunity of wearing the No.9 jersey when the Chiefs host the Sunwolves in Super Rugby. © AAP Image/ David Rowland Jonathan Taumateine of the Chiefs wants to make the most of the opportunity of wearing the No.9 jersey when the Chiefs host the Sunwolves in Super Rugby. Counties halfback Jonathan Taumateine admits to nerves, but he can't wait for his first start for the Chiefs in their Super Rugby clash with the Sunwolves.

The New Zealand under-20s representative has big shoes to fill in Hamilton on Saturday.

He is stepping in for Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who is being rested after suffering a head knock in the 16-7 win against the Western Force in Perth.

"Obviously I'm a bit nervous but it's a great opportunity for me to get out there and cover for some of the great halfbacks that are out this week," Taumateine said.

"I always wanted to be a Chief and just to be a part of it is pretty amazing."

Taumateine was a star during their victorious run at the Brisbane Global Tens in February, when the Chiefs lost their other All Blacks halfback, Brad Weber, to a broken leg.

The 20-year-old has since had two cameos off the bench against the Highlanders and Blues.

He finally gets his chance in the run-on side after the three-week suspension handed down to Finlay Christie for foul play against the Force.

Taumateine is comforted by having Japanese captain Michael Leitch and All Black first five-eighth Aaron Cruden either side of him.

"They're obviously high-class players and having them there makes my job a whole lot easier."

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