The Fijian international featured for an hour at the Recreation Ground in a new playing role in the visiting back-row.
After a disappointing campaign last season - hampered somewhat by a troublesome knee injury - the 33-year-old is fighting fit ahead of the 2014/15 campaign and ready to make his mark once more.
Part of the process, however, is the idea that head coach Rob Baxter is keen to utilise Naqelevuki in a new role within the forwards - and the former Stormers star was given his first start against the Reds.
Naqelevuki did not disappoint on the night, scoring a try and creating a number of opportunities for his young team-mates with some of his trademark line breaks.
Afterwards, Naqelevuki - who skippered the Chiefs in the game - said: "I'm so happy to be back playing again. This year is a big year for me, but my knee is good and I'm looking forward to getting a chance to play.
"Tonight was a good run-out for me, but I know I still have lots to do. Playing in the forwards was a lot different to the backs, but it's early days and I know I have lots of things to learn."
Naqelevuki, though, has been given plenty of advice from the club's coaching staff and fellow players and hopes to use upcoming games as an opportunity to shine.
"Everyone is helping me with the new position, I just need to learn the line-outs! All the rest is fine and the more I play, the better I will hopefully get."
The Chiefs Academy will be in action again next Tuesday when they travel to Exmouth for a 6.45pm kick-off.
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