The Chiefs breakout No.8 who was named after Braveheart


Wallace Cityte would have been content with one game for the Chiefs in 2024. He played in seven games, including five straight All-Stars.

Curiously, Sititi captained the Blues U20 squad and was voted Development Player of the Year in 2022.

He felt his true value was not appreciated in Auckland when he was loaned out to North Harbour, so he migrated south to Hamilton, largely persuaded by New Zealand Under-20s and Chiefs manager Martyn Fercoe.

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“My home debut against Moana Pasifika was a highlight. It was one of those games where things go your way and you feel the flow,” said Setiti. Rugby Pass.

The Chiefs won that game on April 6 by a score of 68-12, their largest margin of victory in any game surpassing a 61-10 win over the Sunwolves in 2018. City had made his debut two weeks earlier in a 19-25 loss to the Reds in Brisbane, but impressed in 20 minutes off the bench in a 28-21 win over the Highlanders a week later. Setiti carried 26 meters and made 13 tackles.

Perhaps his best performance was a 38-22 win over the Waratahs in Sydney on 26 April. The 187cm tall, 112kg striker matches the hosts' famous physique and scored a try.

“The Waratahs are a lot better than the ladder says they are. They haven't been unlucky with their results, and even when they lose, they're there. They've got some big bodies in their lock department and loose forwards,” Sititi said.

“The Hurricanes are the toughest team I've played on. Their physicality was on another level. We lost that game. There was a big crowd, very intense. If I stay locked into my role, those outside factors won't be as challenging mentally.”

Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan, a power forward who played 113 games for Bay of Plenty, said of his No. 8:

He exploded at the scene. He had to spend his time in our environment for five or six months and then he got his chance and he succeeded. He has not missed the 23rd match since then.

“He's a talented young man, he's got a mature head on his shoulders, he comes from good stock and he's another young man who's going to improve. We've got to make sure we look after him and make sure he stays grounded. You've got to love the explosiveness of his game.”

Wallace is the son of former Samoa captain Simo Setiti (59 tests, 17 tries, 33 wins) who made three Rugby World Cup appearances with his try against 2003 champions England, one of the greatest moments in the tournament's history. Keith Quinn reported.

“Samoa produced exciting attacks that impressed their supporters. The most memorable was when popular captain Simo Setiti got on the end of some high-speed play in an 80-metre dash. No fewer than 11 Samoan players touched the ball and Setiti fell over for the effort.

Semo won the NPC title with Wellington in 2000 and played professionally in the UK and Japan for over a decade. Simo belongs to a generation of players who have greatly enhanced the esteem in which Samoan players are held.

“My father is the standard on and off the field but I don’t try to be like him. He encouraged me to create my own strengths,” said Setiti.

“I was born in Samoa. My father was based in Scotland, but when my mother’s father became ill, she flew back to Samoa with my older sister.

“My father wasn't there when I was born. My parents liked the movie Braveheart, with the warrior William Wallace, and they thought William was a bit too popular, so they made Wallace a first name.

“I spent the first five years of my life in Scotland and then we lived in Osaka for seven years. It's very different from New Zealand in terms of crowds and culture.

“I didn't play rugby until I went to De La Salle College. I captained the first team in 2020. We weren't the strongest team, but we worked hard and appreciated what we had.

“Captaining was a challenge. Building strong relationships off the field and communicating messages in a relatable way are the things I have learned to do best.

The Chiefs sit third in Super Rugby Pacific with an 8-3 record. They have won three games in a row and must overcome the struggling Rebels in Melbourne on Friday night. The Chiefs finished the regular season with the Hurricanes at home and the Blues away. Win those matches and will be able to host the final for the second year in a row.





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