The Chiefs (formerly known as the Waikato Chiefs) are a professional rugby union team based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Their primary home ground is FMG Stadium Waikato. The Chiefs play in black, red and yellow coloured jerseys. The team competes in the Super Rugby competition known as the Super 12 from 1996 to 2005, Super 14 from 2006 to 2010 and Super Rugby from 2011 onwards. The Chiefs are one of the competition's five New Zealand sides.
Until 2004, the Chiefs were the only New Zealand side to never have qualified for the Super 12 semi-finals. In that year the Chiefs earned their first semi-final berth, and in the end achieved fourth place (defeated 37–20 in the semi-final by the ACT Brumbies). They made the 2009 final but found themselves on the short end of a record 61–17 defeat by the Bulls. The Chiefs were rewarded with a home final after a strong 2012 season. Their opponents, the Sharks, went into the match as underdogs. The Chiefs defeated the Sharks 37–6 winning their first Super Rugby title.