Chiefs have bid farewell to versatile forward Tyler Ardron and midfielder Tumua Manu as they head offshore to France.
The twenty-nine-year-old Canadian forward has signed a two-year deal with French club Castres Olympique. Ardron has been a significant contributor to the Gallagher Chiefs squad since his debut in 2018. The versatile forward has been a consistent performer and an asset for the squad with his ability to play lock, flanker and number eight.
Ardron is grateful for the opportunities the Chiefs Rugby Club and Bay of Plenty Rugby Union provided him.
“I’ve loved my time here in New Zealand with the Gallagher Chiefs and Bay of Plenty Steamers. The supporters and fans of the Gallagher Chiefs and Chiefs region are incredible. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore New Zealand and meet a number of great people along the way.”
“I am exceptionally thankful to the Gallagher Chiefs coaching staff, especially Barnsey (Neil Barnes) for taking the chance on me and bringing me over. I am also grateful to the team in the Bay of Plenty. Clayton and the team over the hill have been fantastic as well and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with both teams.”
Ardron will conclude his time with the Gallagher Chiefs on Tuesday 30 June.
The powerful twenty-seven-year-old midfielder Manu will depart New Zealand at the completion of Super Rugby Aotearoa to join the French Top 14 club Section Paloise on a two-year contract.
Manu made his Investec Super Rugby debut for the Blues in 2018 before joining the Gallagher Chiefs in 2019. The strong midfielder has since cemented himself as a regular starter for the Club.
Manu was thankful for the time he has had with the Gallagher Chiefs.
“I have definitely enjoyed my time with the Gallagher Chiefs and will be sad to go. The Gallagher Chiefs are a special team and I have loved the support from the fans and the boys.”
“A massive thank you to Mike and the coaches for the opportunity they have provided me to wear the Gallagher Chiefs jersey. It will be something I will never forget,” said Manu.
Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins said: “Tyler and Tumua are both highly talented players and have been strong contributors to the Gallagher Chiefs. On behalf of the Chiefs Rugby Club we wish them all the very best in their next phase of their career.”
Ardron has 30 appearances to his name in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey and Manu has notched up 18 Gallagher Chiefs appearances to date and a total of 22 Investec Super Rugby appearances.