Waikato, New Zealand

With just one semifinal appearance (a loss to the Brumbies in 2004) to their name in their first 13 seasons, the Chiefs were pretty much an afterthought in Super Rugby for much of their early existence.

A team that could always turn on the style, they simply didn’t have a formula for sustained success. A brilliant run to the final in 2009 (when they lost to the Bulls in Pretoria) came out of the blue, but for the next two seasons they went back to being the same old Chiefs. Then in came coach Dave Rennie and things changed – dramatically. Playing a wonderfully entertaining brand of rugby, the Chiefs surged to the title in 2012 and defended it in 2013.

In 2016 the Gallagher Chiefs were again in the title hunt, pipped at the semifinal stage by the Hurricanes.

With the likes of Liam Messam, Aaron Cruden and Sam Cane leading the way, the Chiefs are now an established force in Investec Super Rugby and they’ll certainly be among the favourites at the Brisbane Global Tens in 2017.

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