Te Whakatōhea flanker Sam Henwood has been called into the Chiefs side for the upcoming Super Rugby season. Henwood was in Portugal playing professional rugby, but due to a season ending knee injury to Mitchell Karpik, the former King's College First XV captain is set to make his first ever Super Rugby appearance.
Another Māori face around at the Chiefs.
“It allowed and get bigger, get stronger, and hopefully come back if there was an opportunity,” says Sam Henwood.
After three months playing in Portugal, Sam Henwood is the latest name to join the Gallagher Chiefs for 2016. A season ending injury to flanker, Mitchell Karpik has become his shot at Super Rugby.
“Dave Rennie called me pretty early, because of the time zones he called me at 7 o’clock and said to me, happy Valentines, and he goes nah I'm not calling you for that, that'd be a bit weird if I was calling you for Valentines. He told me the story about Mitch which was a bit unlucky but that's the nature of the beast,” says Henwood.
The dream of a professional rugby career has been achieved by signing with the Gallagher Chiefs.
"The funny thing is I've actually played more club rugby in Portugal then I have in New Zealand. That's how injury prone I've been in the last four years,” says Henwood.
The move is a step forward for Henwood.
“A couple of teams I was on the cusp for. Obviously hoping for the Chiefs,” says Henwood.
Henwood joins the side with Japanese RWC prop, Hiroshi Yamashita, as injury cover for All Blacks prop, Nepo Laulala.
“If you don't get it you've got to keep trying to prove people wrong. That's what it's all about in rugby. You could be the best player out there, but it's one man’s opinion,” says Henwood.
The Chiefs open their 2016 campaign against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.