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Chiefs winger Shaun Stevenson clears the air regarding his playing future

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

Shaun Stevenson has confirmed his commitment to the Chiefs for next year’s campaign despite rumours swirling of a potential code switch to the NRL.


Joining the Aotearoa Rugby Pod to discuss a host of topics, the elusive outside back said he had been approached by the NRL’s new expansion franchise the Dolphins but was firmly committed to seeing out his current contract that expires next year.

“I’ve still got one year left with the Chiefs, so at the moment I’m just focusing on that,” Stevenson told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod.

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However, Stevenson left the door open for a potential code switch down the line and confirmed that he received a call from new Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett to discuss where he was at.

“Yeah I’ve had a chat, obviously for after 2023,” Stevenson said.

“I had a phone call from Wayne Bennett.

“It was pretty nerve-racking, arguably the best league coach in this generation. It was cool, just chewing the fat.”


“I think there were about 24 of us this year at the Chiefs playing NRL fantasy, it’s obviously one of those sports that you would love to give a crack.

“I guess it is an option after 2023, we’ll see.

“It’s one of those things for me where my skillset will suit it, playing touch back in my school days, it’s similar to that.

“Quite a few of the boys want to give it a crack but they talk about it but never do. Never say never.”


On where he would play if he did end up in rugby league, Stevenson wanted to be used as a playmaker at fullback or five-eighth where he could use his running game.

“I’d like to say fullback or running No 6, something like that. Use my swerve as well, but yeah, somewhere along those lines.

“At the moment the focus is on rugby, so will see what happens.”

Since joining the Chiefs in 2016 the rangy winger has racked up 67 appearances for the club over seven seasons.

He has 12 caps for the Maori All Blacks, most recently featuring against Ireland in July, but has consistently been overlooked for national honours with the All Blacks despite a wealth of Super Rugby experience.

The 25-year-old has been in some of his best form during this NPC season for North Harbour but missed selection in the All Blacks XV touring squad.

The squad had just three specialist outside backs picked, Ruben Love of Wellington, Mark Telea of North Harbour and AJ Lam of Auckland, while Waikato centre Bailyn Sullivan is an option to cover wing.

“Obviously I was pretty gutted, as were a lot of other boys,” Stevenson said of his All Blacks XV omission.

“I didn’t have any feedback or communication at all as to why I didn’t make it.

“It’s just one of those things where you can either dwell on it for a week or two and let it bring you down or move on and have it in the back of your mind in terms of what’s next best for me.

“It’s one of those things, you’ve had that done to you before Bryn, you know, you’ve been close to it and gone through it.”

On whether he was surprised by missing the cut, Stevenson said he was ‘a little bit’ but would refocus on his game moving forward.

“I guess a little bit, but that’s footy,” he said.

“Your not the one selecting the teams so you just have to put your head down and get back to work.”


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