Chiefs sign Hawke’s Bay first five West as cover

Back to back Super Rugby champions the Chiefs have signed up Hawke’s Bay first five Ihaia West as injury cover ahead of the Super Rugby season.

The double champions look set to start the 2014 Super Rugby season with Robbie Robinson, Gareth Anscombe and Tom Marshall all out of action due to injury.

Magpies coach Craig Philpott says that he is confident that the young West will be capable of filling in for the Chiefs where he is needed.

“He’s played most of his rugby at 10 but he has had some opportunities at 15 both at club and ITM Cup so he is certainly developing that part of his game as well,” Philpott said.

West was considered to be unlucky when he missed out on a Super Rugby contract after a standout ITM Cup campaign with the Magpies but now has a chance to make a name for himself at a higher level.

“Certainly initially we sort of scratched our head a wee bit he obviously had a pretty outstanding season for us in the Magpies,” Philpott told 3News.

“But I guess also if you look at the quality of the (first fives)the we’ve got in the country at the moment and you go through each of the franchises they’re all very good players as well”

West made his senior international debut for the New Zealand Maori All Blacks last year on their tour of North America and also has five caps for the New Zealand under-20 side.

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