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Elliot to raise century for Chiefs in Suva

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016
Hika Elliot © Getty Images Hika Elliot

Hika Elliot has defied the odds and is set to pull on the Chiefs jersey for the 100th time in their Super Rugby match against the Crusaders in Fiji.

The former All Blacks hooker's career almost came to an abrupt end in late 2013 when he seriously injured his neck playing for the Maori All Blacks against Canada.

He missed the following year's Super Rugby season following an operation and was considering retirement before an ankle injury to Nathan Harris opened the door for a return to the Chiefs.

"To come back from that sort of injury and be closing in on my 100th game for a franchise I have a real passion for is pretty humbling, and a blessing," Elliot said.

Harris has reclaimed an All Blacks spot this year and Elliot credits their rivalry for game time at the Chiefs as pushing him to get better.

"I was fortunate that Nathan got injured as it gave me an opportunity to regain my spot in the squad and really kick on.

"He's back and that's all good for the team as there's a lot of competition up front and it makes us have to play week-in and week-out at a really high level."

Elliot is also excited about taking on the competition-leading Crusaders in Suva on Friday, two weeks after the Chiefs crushed Wales 40-7.

He says his team took confidence from a result against an international side which was achieved without eight of their All Blacks and a host of other injured players.

The 30-year-old, who is now in his 10th season of Super Rugby, has no plans to head offshore, with another year still to run on his contract.

"They're paying big bucks overseas but not for old guys like me. First thing's first - I have got a championship to win with this team."

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