Ngatai staying with Chiefs

May 27, 2014 12:02:30 UK

The Chiefs have re-signed versatile back Charlie Ngatai for another two years.

Ngatai has scored five tries in his 19 games for the Waikato franchise, since moving from the Hurricanes at the end of the 2012 season.

Primarily used at centre, he can play anywhere along the backline, which coach Dave Rennie sees as one of his key attributes.

The 23-year-old said he jumped at the chance to stay with two-time defending Super Rugby champions.

Ngatai, who has played four times for the Maori All Blacks, said: “This is a great team to play in with great people and a top environment.  My rugby has progressed well under the Chiefs, which is why I wanted to stay.”

Rennie said: “Charlie is an impressive young man who’s become an integral part of our squad. He’s smart and has an excellent skill set, which enables him to play multiple positions. We are rapt he’s signed on long term.”

Ngatai, who has played for New Zealand at U20 level, switched provincial teams earlier this year joining Taranaki after five seasons with Wellington that yielded 39 games.

He was an instant hit with the Chiefs last year, scoring two tries against the Stormers in Round 4, and most recently grabbed a try in their 38-8 win over the Lions earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Rebels have signed youngster Jack Debreczeni for a further season.
Debreczeni made his debut as a reserve against the Waratahs last weekend, having missed large parts of the season with injuries.

He will move from the Extended Playing Squad into a full contract for the 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

Coach Tony McGahan said: “He possesses a really strong kicking game and added with smart passing we are really looking forward to seeing him get on the pitch and be tested more at Super Rugby level.”

The Chiefs are 8.00 to win the Super Rugby Grand Final while New Zealand are 2.37 to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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