the Chiefs opening match of Super Rugby Pacific 2023, star halfback Brad Weber has revealed the two players to watch across the season. The Chiefs will begin their 2023 campaign on February 24 when they take on the current title-holder Crusaders at Orangetheory Stadium.
Despite making the semi-finals of the 2022 edition last year, the Hamiltonians have struggled to produce consistent performances since their last title win in 2013 and will hope to make 2023 their year.
The return of Damian McKenzie and the leadership group of Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick and Anton Lienert-Brown will boost their chances; however, it is two young players who have caught Weber’s eye the most as they prepare for the upcoming competition.
“The good thing for us is that we don’t have a lot of turnovers this year, there’s a lot of guys (staying on),” Weber told SENZ Breakfast.
“I think we’ve only lost maybe one or two so a lot of continuity which is good, but I certainly am excited by our two backup halfbacks.
Here’s how to watch the 2023 Crusaders vs Chiefs broadcast on TheDailyRugby.
The 2023 Crusaders vs Chiefs broadcast starts on Feb 24, 2023. Stream or cast from your desktop, mobile or TV. Now available on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast and Apple TV. Don’t forget to download the FloSports app on iOS or Android!
If you can’t watch live, catch up with the replays! Video footage from the event will be archived and stored in a video library for FloRugby subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscription.
5 teams all in one place for 4 games of rugby…. Pre-season doesn’t get much better 😤🔥
— Gallagher Chiefs (@ChiefsRugby) January 25, 2023
While the rookie had strong competition for the No.9 role in veteran Brad Weber and fellow substitute halfback Xavier Roe, Ratima was rewarded for his impressive season with selection in the inaugural All Blacks XV Northern Tour squad.
There, the young scrum-half was named on the bench to face the Barbarians and while New Zealand suffered a narrow 35-31 defeat, Ratima gained his first taste of international rugby.
Having caught the attention of All Blacks selectors after only one season of Super Rugby, Donald believes Ratima stands out as the player most likely to have a breakthrough season for the Chiefs in 2023.