Ngatai wants SBW's jersey

 Jan 16,2013
Written by: Editor

New Chiefs recruit Charlie Ngatai has his eyes firmly on Sonny Bill Williams' old position when the Super Rugby season gets under way.

However, the former Hurricanes midfielder faces stiff competition from four other players vying to be the centre of attention for the defending champions this year.

Outside centre Richard Kahui is set to make his long awaited return from a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the second half of last year's championship, leaving Ngatai, Andrew Horrell and Bundee Aki to battle it out for the number 12 jersey that Williams made his own in 2012. 

"The aim is to push for a starting spot," Ngatai told <i>Fairfax NZ News</i>.

"Sonny played most of the season at 12 last year and I just want to try to get the opportunity to play there and see if I can do it for the whole season.

"But there's good competition throughout the team."

"I put on a few extra kgs and that slowed me down a little [from school days] but it's starting to come off now which is good and, hopefully, we'll see that speed coming back," added Ngatai, who at 103kg and 1.88m is no lightweight.

Ngatai played at full-back for Wellington during the ITM Cup, where his side made it to the semi-finals, but is eager to ply his trade at centre for his adopted team in Hamilton.

"Fullback, you've got more time, whereas in midfield you've got to be a lot sharper and be thinking a bit more," he said.

"It's just getting used to the different calls in a different team and, in a couple of weeks or even a week, I should be there."

Tags: Super Rugby |  Chiefs | 

From The Sideline