Five Highlanders have been named in the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad, while several high-profile players have been left out.
It will clearly take a mighty effort from anyone wanting to prevent the Crusaders claiming their eighth title.
There was always going to be one team leaving Waikato Stadium contemplating a horrible start to their 2012 campaign.
Dave Rennie's first game as Chiefs coach proved a horror show as he watched his team squander their lead and a host of his players leave the field with injury that will severely test his squad.
In the blink of one round of Super 15, franchise neighbours the Blues and Chiefs face a Friday night funk in Hamilton.
Liam Messam and Craig Clarke have been named co-captains for the Chiefs.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has announced the Chiefs squad for the 2012 Super 15 season with three Rugby World Cup champions to make up part of his backline.
Hoani Macdonald never thought he would be seen again in the Highlanders jersey, but it is one chance he intends to take.
Chiefs winger Sitiveni Sivivatu's hopes of making the All Blacks' World Cup squad have received a boost after tests showed his shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared.
The Chiefs have made two changes to their starting XV for a Super 15 match against the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday night, with the inclusion of Dwayne Sweeney and Isaac Ross.
Flanker Tanerau Latimer will make his return to Super 15 rugby for the Chiefs against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday night after an extended stretch on the sidelines.
Sonny Bill Williams will watch on as his Crusaders side play Super 15 rivals the Chiefs at Napier on Saturday night.
Chiefs flanker Sam Cane will get his first Super 15 start of the season on Saturday after being named today in the side to face the Crusaders in Napier.
The Chiefs team has been named to play the Stormers in a Super 15 match at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday night.
There are some things that just do not go together - oil and water, cats and dogs, Hone and Don. Another? The Highlanders and Hamilton.
The Highlanders face an injury crisis in the outside backs and star loose forward Adam Thomson is out for a month, as the side's lack of depth starts to be exposed.
All Black winger Sitiveni Sivivatu returns to the Chiefs team for their Super 15 rmatch against the Highlanders in Hamilton on Saturday night after an injury-enforced week on the sidelines.
The Chiefs team has been named to play the Highlanders in a Super 15 match at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday.