While the Chiefs haven’t been hit quite as cataclysmically hard by injuries this season as they were in 2020, they’ve not escaped from the curse altogether.
Atu Moli is yet to be sighted in 2021 while captain Sam Cane won’t feature again after damaging a pec against the Blues.
More recently, young midfielder Quinn Tupaea suffered a ruptured MCL against the Highlanders two weekends ago which will likely keep him off the park for the remainder of the Chiefs’ campaign – including the upcoming trans-Tasman component of Super Rugby.
Alex Nankivell has stepped into the No 12 jersey in Tupaea’s absence while the likes of Sean Wainui, Bailyn Sullivan and Rameka Pohipi could all fill the void left by the 21-year-old, but the Chiefs have now seen fit to call up a new member to the squad in the form of Chief Under 20s captain Gideon Wrampling.
Wrampling was a star performer for the age-grade side which went undefeated throughout their recent Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20 campaign, slotting in at both inside and outside centre and scoring two tries over the three-day competition.
The Chiefs Under 20 team bested the Hurricanes 40-26, the Crusaders 49-28, and the Barbarians 69-28.
The 20-year-old, who weighs in at over 100kg, debuted for Waikato in last year’s Mitre 10 Cup competition, featuring three times on the wing and making five appearances off the bench.
Before returning to New Zealand for his final two years of high school, Wrampling made a name for himself at Brisbane State High School in Australia.
He featured in both the 2018 and 2019 NZ Secondary Schools sides and was brought into the Under 20s training camp last year before their campaign was called off due to the global pandemic.
While Wrampling may not feature in a playing capacity for the Chiefs this year, his time with the squad will be invaluable for his career moving forward and indicates how highly rated the young prospect is in the Waikato region.
The Chiefs will announce their side to take on the Hurricanes on Friday later today.
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