The Chiefs announced on Monday that former All Blacks fly-half Stephen Donald would return to play for them for the 2019 Super Rugby season.
The Hamilton-based outfit’s head coach Colin Cooper said he was delighted to have the veteran and local legend return to the Chiefs family.
“We are pleased to have Stephen Donald the Beaver re-join our Chiefs whanau for 2019. He is a great team man who brings a wealth of experience and mana to our side. He is a good conductor of the game and will deliver for the team when provided the opportunity,” Cooper told the Chiefs’ official website.
Donald said he is looking forward to returning to play for the Chiefs and can’t wait to get back into it.
“I am stoked to be able to come back and play for the Chiefs this season. There is a great group of lads to work alongside and I hope I can play my part in supporting the team both on and off the field,” he commented.
“I’m looking forward to putting on the jersey again to proudly represent the club and our loyal supporters.”
Chiefs Rugby CEO Mike Collins said he knows the announcement will be popular with both supporters and the team.
“Stephen is a legend within the Chiefs region, most certainly a fan favourite for our supporters. We are rapt he is returning to the club this year. We will greatly value his contribution, both on and off the field,” he said.
Donald made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs against the Waratahs in 2005. The fly-half was one of the most prolific points scorers in New Zealand, scoring the most points in the 2007 Super Rugby competition and the second most points in 2008, behind Dan Carter. 2008 marked his All Blacks debut against England at Eden Park.
The 35-year-old is most commonly recognised for his 2011 Rugby World Cup penalty goal kick to secure the All Blacks World Cup victory over France at Eden Park.
Later in Donald’s career, he captained the Chiefs to their historic 2016 win against Wales. He has also had a stint playing in Japan and for Premiership club Bath.
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