You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ngatai simply happy to be back for Chiefs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/05/2017
Charlie Ngatai of the Chiefs. © Getty Images Charlie Ngatai of the Chiefs.

Charlie Ngatai has made an almost perfect return to Super Rugby after his career was nearly cut short due to a concussion.

He played 55 minutes of the Chiefs' 46-17 win over the Queensland Reds in New Plymouth on Saturday night, scoring a try and carrying the ball strongly.

The one-Test All Black suffered a head knock against the Highlanders on May 7 last year and only made his return to club rugby last month.

"It was a bit overwhelming as it's been a long time since I last played for the Chiefs so it was good to put the boots back on again and play in front of my home fans here in Taranaki," Ngatai said.

"I think the best moment was just running out of the tunnel and heading into the big game."

The 26-year-old admits to having a few anxious moments before taking to the field at Yarrow Stadium.

"The build up was probably the hardest because you don't know what's going to happen during the game but once I had the first few touches the nerves went away a bit," he said.

All Blacks selector Grant Fox and New Zealand Maori coach Colin Cooper were both at the match but Ngatai is keeping things in perspective with the British and Irish Lions tour looming next month.

He has the potential to play in three different fixtures with either the Chiefs, Maori or All Blacks against the Lions but remains realistic about his chances.

"I'm just taking every game as it comes because you don't want to push too hard too soon.

"I just want to play well for the Chiefs and if it arises to put the All Blacks jersey on again then that's great."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon