After an all-round performance in the Chiefs win against the Blues the weekend, the unwanted winger Sean Wainui is set to sign with the Chiefs on a full-time contract this season.
He had mixed emotions going into this year's season.
Wainui explains, "I was going to have to look somewhere else, move back to Taranaki, do some training and get my agent to look overseas somewhere. That's why I was just training hard at the Chiefs and just working day by day.
"So I made my way up to the Chiefs probably because I didn't get resigned for the Crusaders and I was pretty much not wanted- if that's the way to put it. But I didn't take my opportunities down there. I am really happy to be with the Chiefs and being able to get the opportunity and get game time."
Last year, he was left in limbo after being told his contract with the Crusaders wasn't going to be renewed. But the part-time contract with the Chiefs as injury replacement gave him hope of securing a full-time gig.
Wainui says, "I was on a month to month injury replacement contract, so pretty much I am in there for trainings and stuff. If they need me to play then I will play, but they don't need to play me."
After the Chiefs win against the Blues, Chiefs head coach, Colin Cooper disclosed the potential fulltime contract to Wainui.
"After the game they said they wanted to keep me for the rest of the year. This was supposed to be my last week, and I was only signed for the rest of this week, but yeah I think after that, they want to keep me on now,” says Wainui.
The opportunity comes at a good time for the young player.
"It's a bit overwhelming to play super rugby. It was tough not being able to get an opportunity anywhere else and overseas could've been an option [but] I wanted to stay around here in New Zealand and apply my craft and be the best I could…
"That's part of the reason I wanted to come to the Chiefs- it's tuturu Māori hard. A lot of us are Māori and we love it and that's an eye-opener for me. We sing a lot of waiata, there's haka and a lot of Māori around Hamilton- there is Kingitanga. I'm loving it at the moment and I am learning more about the Chiefs mana," proclaims Wainui.
With the high number of injuries this week affecting the Chiefs squad Wainui is likely to get more game time this season.