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Retallick raring for Chiefs return

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/04/2016

Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs. © Getty Images Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs. Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick is raring to go as he returns to the starting line up for their clash with the Blues in Hamilton on Friday.

Retallick has been out for four weeks with a rib injury which he suffered in the Chiefs' 36-32 round two loss to the Lions.

The 2014 World Rugby player of the year only played eight matches for the Chiefs last year after he injured both his shoulders and is now keen to get back on track.

"Yeah, I hope so - Renz (Dave Rennie) reminded me the other day that I haven't played too many games in the last two years so hopefully I can stay out on the field for the rest of the season," Retallick said.

The match against the Blues will also reunite Retallick and Dominic Bird for the first time since 2011, when they helped the New Zealand under-20 team win the world championship title in Italy.

Bird has been out of action since January after fracturing his foot and will now make his Chiefs debut on Friday.

"Exciting for him - obviously he was disappointed to get injured pre-season, so to be alongside him is good," Retallick said.

The Chiefs, with a dozen players under 21 in their squad, are also showing signs of returning to the form that won them back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

"I think it's fair to say that the team is getting on pretty really well," Retallick said.

"We have created a good environment this year and with the new players there is a lot of energy and they're hungry.

"The new coaches (Kieran Keane and Neil Barns) have brought a new philosophy in the way they want to play the game - it's exciting to do something different and it's working at the moment."

Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Shaun Stevenson, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (co-capt), Brad Weber, Michael Leitch, Sam Cane (co-capt), Maama Vaipulu, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Atu Moli, Hika Elliot, Mitchell Graham. Res: Rhys Marshall, Siate Tokolahi, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Taleni Seu, Sean Henwood, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Seta Tamanivalu, Sam McNichol.

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