Welcoming old friends: Chiefs legend Richard Kahui embracing battle with former side

Wed, 12/05/2021, 12:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
New goal line dropout rule to be incorporated into Trans Tasman matches

It's been eight long years since Richard Kahui has pulled on the Chiefs jersey.

13th April 2013 to be precise was when the then 27-year-old suffered another shoulder injury during their 31-23 defeat to the Reds, eventually ruling him out of the rest of the season.

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Saturday's clash will mark the first time Kahui will run onto the field to face off against his old side, spending the past years in Japan.

It's evident to see what the club still means to the All Black legend, where he helped revitalise a youthful squad to claim their maiden Super Rugby title in 2012 under first-year coach Dave Rennie.

"It's been a long time since I've been there but the Chiefs are a huge part of who I am as a rugby player...It will be mixed emotions, but I'm really looking forward to it and I know if we turn up, it'll be a real good battle," the former All Black said on Tuesday.

"It's exciting. When you play any sport, you want to test yourself against the best and that's what the Kiwi teams are.

"The guys are really excited to battle it out with the Kiwi teams."

Toni Pulu will miss this week's clash after this controversial tackle

Only one player in the Chiefs team from that game remains since Kahui was last there, captain Sam Cane, who will miss the rest of the season after a pec tear. Two if you count Liam Messam's brief pop in for a coffee and a game a fortnight ago.

For Kahui, the chance to go up against the likes of Damien McKenzie and Anton Linert-Brown, just teenagers during his time at the club, was something that he was relishing.

"Hopefully there's not too many running down where I'm defending if I'm fortunate enough to be playing," Kahui said.

"Damien McKenzie and Anton Linert Brown, those were the two that were the young fellas when I was leaving. They've now moved into the position of the older and experienced boys in the team so looking forward to seeing those lads.

"I'm just excited to be playing against the Chiefs again. I know more of the staff than the players nowadays."

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As they get set to land in Western Australia, Kahui will welcome his old friends with open arms both on and off the field.

"I'm meant to be catching a couple of them Thursday night for a barbecue. If any of them turn up with food poisoning you'll know why," he joked.

The Western Force will be looking to mark their return to International action with a win when they face Super Rugby Aotearoa finalists Chiefs at HBF Park. Click here to purchase tickets.

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