While Super Rugby is set to kick-off soon, Chiefs centre, Richard Kahui, will be forced to sit out his side's season opener due to a shoulder injury.
The 18th Super Rugby season was launched today, but due to a shoulder injury, Richard Kahui had to sit out many of the activities.
Two members from each of the five NZ Super Rugby franchises gathered at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in Ōkahu Bay to launch the season with a friendly waka ama race.
Kahui will miss the start of the Chiefs' Super 15 season, having not quite fully recovered from shoulder surgery. For the past eight months, injury has sidelined the Maniapoto rugby player.
For Victor Vito, it's the team's on-field performance that counts.
With one more round of pre-season fixtures this weekend, NZ teams kick off the season in round two with the Hurricanes taking on the Blues and only Australian teams playing in the first round.
NZ's Super Rugby teams will have an added incentive this year, playing for a new trophy for the Kiwi conference winner.
Reporter: Tamati Tiananga