22 Feb 2012

Sport: Manu Samoa skipper ready for Chiefs challenge

11:30 am on 22 February 2012

Manu Samoa captain Mo Schwalger has declared himself well-rested and ready for the Chiefs' opening Super Rugby clash against the Highanders in Hamilton.

The 33 year old is at his third Super Rugby team following stints with the Hurricanes and Highlanders and will contend with former All Blacks rake Hika Elliot for the number two jersey this season.

Schwalger captained Manu Samoa at last year's Rugby World Cup, following which he criticised the team management and officials for their conduct while in New Zealand.

He says if his body is willing he'd still love to play for his country in the June test against Scotland in Apia but, after a summer spent rehabilitating, he's just looking forward to getting back on the field.

"After the World Cup I had an operation on my knee and the coaching staff gave me a chance to have three months off so I'm ready to go and I'm pretty excited trying to wear the Chiefs jersey and make sure we can earn the respect back to the Chiefs jersey this year, so it's a great challenge and I'm looking forward to it."

Mo Schwalger says it will be up to the tight five to provide good quality ball for the team's star-studded backline featuring the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui.