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Mils Muliaina was the world's top fullback last year and will be looking to help the Chiefs regain respect in 2011.
The Chiefs have predominantly been a middle of the road team in their 15 years in Super Rugby. In 2004, they finally cracked the top four but were unable to progress any further after a loss to the Brumbies.
2009 saw them make another playoff appearance, this time making it all the way to the final, where they struck a red-hot Bulls team at Loftus Versfeld and were flattened 61-17.
The 2010 season was one of much frustration for Chiefs fans. After getting off to a dream start with three wins from their first three games on the road, they were unable to capitalise and only managed one more win for the rest of the season.
The loss of their captain Mils Muliaina played a big part in this, and his return for the 2011 season can only be good news for Chiefs fans.
Muliaina spearheads a lethal back-three that also includes Sitiveni Sivivatu and Lelia Masaga.
Before sustaining what was effectively a season-ending injury, Sivivatu was one of the most dangerous wingers in world rugby and the Chiefs will be hoping he can return to form for another season.
Masaga is a one-time All Black who has freakish speed and is one of the most slippery players anywhere.
They have two quality flyhalves in Mike Delaney and Stephen Donald. Delaney was one of the best players in the ITM Cup last year and is a legitimate contender for a place in the World Cup squad.
Donald copped a lot of criticism last year after a below-average All Black tour but always performs well at Super Rugby level and will be a key figure for the Chiefs.
The biggest talking point of the Chiefs backline has been the inclusion of All Black legend Tana Umaga. Umaga was one of the best players in the world in his prime and ranks amongst the all-time great centres.
But at the age of 37, he is well past his best, and it is unclear what his role in the Chiefs will be. It is likely that he is there as much for his off-field presence as his on-field game.
There is no doubt that he had an enormous impact on a young Counties-Manakau team last year and will look to have the same impact on this Chiefs team.
He has a lot of experience, which will prove valuable to the other players. If there is any doubt over this, consider one point. Umaga was part of the Hurricanes in 1996 and played in the first-ever Super Rugby game against the Blues. Today, he is the only remaining player from the first season of the competition.
It will most likely be their forward pack that will determine whether they are successful this season, though. It is a pack made up of a lot of good ITM Cup players who are looking to make their name at the next level.
Nathan White, or 'Captain Fantastic' as he's known in the Waikato, was very good for the Moo-Loo men last year, and will want to prove himself at the next level with a good Super Rugby campaign.
Hika Elliot had a break-out tour with the All Blacks at the end of 2011 and will no doubt be the driving force behind this Chiefs pack.
In the locks they have picked up Hayden Triggs and Isaac Ross from the Highlanders and Crusaders, while Callum Retallick and Craig Clarke return for another season.
Romana Graham has been rewarded for an outstanding ITM Cup with a contract and will no doubt see some playing time this year, too.
Their starting loose-forward trio will most likely consist of Liam Messam, Tanerau Latimer and Colin Bourke.
Messam and Latimer both have All Black experience and are generally good players at Super Level, while Bourke is arguably the best current player in New Zealand to not wear the black jersey.
To go with this, they have a good backup openside in Scott Waldrom and the young Fritz Lee who impressed in 2010.
It looks to be a solid pack and if everyone plays well, they will be able to unleash their dangerous backline. However, that is a big if.
They have a pack consisting of a lot of good players without any who are going to change a game as a McCaw, Kaino or Read can. This could be a problem, but as long as everyone consistently performs, they should still be competitive.
Key Players: Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Liam Messam, Hika Elliot.
Prediction: Fourth in New Zealand Conference.