Super Rugby 2019: Chiefs halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi struggling to impress

The Chiefs will be without co-captains Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane for another three weeks of Super Rugby.

Coach Colin Cooper's confirmed Retallick has torn ligaments in his wrist, while Cane's slowly closing in on a return from a broken neck.

But another of the Chiefs' All Blacks is also struggling to get on the field and it's got nothing to do with injury.

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi has spent most of the season warming the bench behind Brad Weber.

Last week's start against the Hurricanes was just his second of the season and it only came about through a late withdrawl by incumbent Weber.

"To be honest, I was pretty excited just to be out there and throw the ball around and get some minutes," Tahuriorangi said.

Minutes have been hard to come by - so hard, the All Blacks third-choice halfback has had to resort to playing club rugby to get more game time.

He's averaged 25 minutes per game this season, but that's no fault of his own.

"Webby's [Brad Weber] just been outstanding, hasn't he, and he's a leader and while we're missing key people, he's filled that void," Cooper said.

"Te Toiroa's just going to have to sit and wait."

The Rotorua native's contract is up at the end of the season and when quizzed about it, he gave nothing away about his future.

"Yea, it's still up in the air at the moment," Tahuriorangi said.

When Cooper was asked how he'll keep the halfback at the Chiefs with such a lack of gametime, he offered a wry smile.

"That's something I've got to talk about later."

Sources have indicated to Newshub that Tahuriorangi's future has already been decided, but a move offshore has been ruled out. 

Meanwhile, he's happy to leave his ego aside, instead seeing his bench role as a positive rather than a negative.

"When I'm in the ABs, I will generally be coming off the bench or something like that, if I was to get chosen.

"I see it as a good challenge, so for me, I find that as a challenge for me coming on and trying to win a game," Tahuriorangi said. "I find it as important as starting."

His next chance to practice that will be against the Highlanders on Saturday.


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