The Chiefs are going back to where it all began when the side runs out onto the field this Friday. The Gallagher Chiefs have announced today they will be wearing a replica of the 1996 Gallagher Chiefs jersey when they take on the Hurricanes at FMG Stadium Waikato.
The replica jersey, however, will be made of polyester, instead of the original cotton blend, and will feature the Chiefs 2019 sponsors.
The Chiefs will be the first Super Rugby franchise to don a replica jersey. In an initiative generated by the club in conjunction with the Chiefs Rugby Club Alumni, Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins acknowledged the concept as a fitting acknowledgement to the 1996 side.
“The 1996 Gallagher Chiefs Heritage Jersey was an opportunity for us as a club to acknowledge our former players and their contribution to the Chiefs Rugby Club. In addition to providing something unique, we wanted to continue to generate funds for the Alumni foundation and to connect our current team to our former players. Brodie, Stephen and Liam were instrumental in the establishment of the Alumni programme last year and this is a continuation of their work in conjunction with the club which we want to foster. We are certain that our fans, community and stakeholders will support them with this great initiative,” said Collins.
Chiefs 1996 Heritage Jersey - Photo / Chiefs
Chiefs first five-eighth Stephen Donald said the 1996 Chiefs Heritage jersey was an opportunity to draw on the past and connect it to the present day. “Being able to be a part of something like this is really rewarding. For the team selected to play this weekend to have the opportunity to pull on the heritage jersey will be something pretty special. Some of them would have grown up watching the 1996 team take to the field, so it will bring back all the memories you had as a kid growing up inspiring to be like them. It will be nice to be able to connect our team to our past,” said Donald.
Chiefs co-captain Brodie Retallick said the jersey attributes to those players who have created a legacy for the Chiefs Rugby Club.
“It pays tribute to all those that have played a part in building this club. We are here today because of them and we can pay tribute to that. We believe the fans, along with the players will get behind the jersey,” said Retallick
There will only be 300 individually numbered 1996 Chiefs Heritage Jerseys available for purchase. A selection of the playing jerseys worn by the Chiefs when they take on the Hurricanes this Friday will be signed by players and auctioned off on Trade Me. The auctions will go live on Tuesday 12 March and run until Tuesday 19 March. The money raised from the Trade Me auctions will be given to the Chiefs Rugby Club Alumni Foundation.