Super Rugby

NZ franchises name 2019 Super Rugby squads

Scott Robertson (Getty Images)
Scott Robertson (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Thirty-three new players feature among the 190 professional players contracted by New Zealand's five Super Rugby franchises for the 2019 season.

The Blues, Chiefs, Wellington, Crusaders and Highlanders have named their 38-strong squads on Wednesday after confirming the last of the remaining spots on their rosters.

Alongside familiar names, the squads include seven sets of brothers, and 33 names new to Super Rugby contracts, including 21 from the 2018 U20 development programme, demonstrating a strength in the emerging talent.

The new recruits signing Super Rugby contracts for the first time are:

Blues: Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Jacob Pierce, Tom Robinson, Marcel Renata, Hoskins Sotutu, Harry Plummer, Tanielu Tele'a

Chiefs: Reuben O’Neill, Pita Gus Sowakula, Laghlan McWhannell, Jack Debreczeni, Tumua Manu, Bailyn Sullivan, Etene Nanai-Seturo

Crusaders: Whetu Douglas, Leicester Faingaanuku, Harrison Allan, Brett Cameron, Ngane Punavai

Highlanders: Ayden Johnstone, Sef Fa’agase, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Josh Iosefa Scott, Ray Niuia, Jack Whetton, Folau Fakatava

Hurricanes: Fraser Armstrong, Liam Mitchell, Du Plessis Kirifi, Richard Judd, Billy Proctor, Salesi Rayasi

Several players from the U20 development programme went on to play in this year’s U20 World Championship - Hoskins Sotutu, Caleb Clarke, Harry Plummer, Tanielu Tele’a, Laghlan McWhannell, Bailyn Sullivan, Leicester Faingaanuku, Ngane Punivai and Billy Proctor.

There are seven sets of siblings - the Barretts, Beauden and Jordie (Hurricanes), and Scott (Crusaders); Rieko and Akira Ioane (Blues), Anton (Chiefs) and Daniel (Highlanders) Lienert-Brown; Damian and Marty McKenzie (Chiefs), Sam (Crusaders) and Luke (Highlanders) Whitelock, and twins Jack (Crusaders) and Josh (Blues) Goodhue were listed in the super siblings club in 2018 and this year they are joined by Matt and Billy Proctor (Chiefs).

Players returning from offshore next year are Ma’a Nonu (Blues), James Marshall (Hurricanes), Marty Banks (Highlanders), and Whetu Douglas (Crusaders).

At 36, two-time World Cup winning All Black Nonu, is the oldest of the 190 contracted, while scrumhalf and rookie Highlander Folau Fakatava is the most junior at 18 (19 in December).

Pedigree is strong across the squads:

- Hoskins Sotutu (son of Blues and Auckland speedster Waisake)
- Caleb Clarke (son of former All Black Eroni)
- Akira and Rieko (Manu Samoa dad Eddie & Black Fern mum Sandra)
- Scott, Beauden and Jordie (sons of iconic Taranaki rugby figure, Smiley) Barrett
- Jackson Garden Bachop (son of All Black Stephen and Black Fern, the late Sue Garden Bachop)
- Ethan Blackadder (son of former Crusaders player, coach and All Blacks captain Todd Blackadder)
- Bryn Gatland (son of Waikato stalwart, and Wales & British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland)
- Jack Whetton (son of All Black Gary Whetton)
- Thomas and Peter Umaga Jensen (their uncle Tana coaches the Blues)
- Pari Pari Parkinson (his uncle Matua Parkinson was a Maori All Black)

New Zealand Rugby Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum congratulated all 190 players officially confirmed by their respective clubs today.

“It is a real testament to our development programmes across the country that we have so many young players of real quality contracted for the new season," he said.

“The Under 20 programme continues to be an important pathway for young players, and our Super Rugby clubs and Provincial Unions do an outstanding job in developing players also. There was some great talent on display during Mitre 10 Cup, making the selection job for coaches very difficult.

“Super Rugby continues to deliver world-class rugby viewing and all five New Zealand clubs are constantly innovating and working hard to ensure their teams are exciting, the games are entertaining, and the competition is thrilling.”

Newly contracted players will attend a two-day induction at New Zealand Rugby, before reporting for duty with their new clubs on November 29.

BLUES

Props: Alex Hodgman, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Sione Mafileo, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tu'ungafasi

Hookers: Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons

Locks: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Jacob Pierce, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu

Loose forwards: Jed Brown, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu, Jimmy Tupou

Scrumhalves: Sam Nock, Augustine Pulu, Jonathan Ruru

Flyhalves: Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer

Centres: Levi Aumua, TJ Faiane, Ma’a Nonu, Tanielu Tele’a, Sonny Bill Williams

Outside Backs: Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai, Jordan Trainor

CHIEFS

Props: Kane Hames, Aidan Ross, Reuben O’Neill, Nepo Laulala, Atu Moli, Sosefo Kautai, Angus Ta’avao

Hookers: Nathan Harris Liam Polwart, Samisoni Taukei’aho

Locks: Brodie Retallick, Tyler Ardron, Laghlan McWhannell, Michael Allardice, Fin Hoeata

Loose forwards: Mitchell Brown, Taleni Seu, Sam Cane, Mitchell Karpik, Lachlan Boshier, Luke Jacobson, Pita Gus Sowakula

Scrumhalves: Brad Weber, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Jonathan Taumateine

Flyhalves: Damian McKenzie, Tiaan Falcon, Jack Debreczeni

Centres: Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Tumua Manu, Bailyn Sullivan

Outside backs: Solomon Alaimalo, Sean Wainui, Ataata Moeakiola, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Shaun Stevenson, Marty McKenzie

CRUSADERS

Props: Michael Alaalatoa, Harry Allan, Owen Franks, Oliver Jager, Joe Moody, Tim Perry

Hookers: Ben Funnell, Andrew Makalio, Codie Taylor

Locks: Scott Barrett, Quinten Strange, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock

Loose forwards: Ethan Blackadder, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Mitchell Dunshea, Billy Harmon, Kieran Read, Tom Sanders, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd

Scrumhalves: Mitchell Drummond, Ereatara Enari, Bryn Hall

Flyhalves: Brett Cameron, Mitchell Hunt, Richie Mo’unga

Centres: Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Ngane Punivai

Outside backs: George Bridge, Israel Dagg, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Leicester Faingaanuku, Will Jordan, Manasa Mataele

HIGHLANDERS

Hookers: Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Ray Niuia

Props: Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Iosefa-Scott, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Tyrel Lomax, Sef Fa’agase

Locks: Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Paripari Parkinson, Josh Dickson, Jack Whetton

Loose forwards: Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Dillon Hunt, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Shannon Frizell, Elliot Dixon

Scrumhalves: Aaron Smith, Kayne Hammington, Folau Fakatava

Flyhalves: Bryn Gatland, Josh Ioane, Marty Banks

Centres: Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Teihorangi Walden, Richard Buckman, Matt Faddes, Thomas Umaga-Jensen

Outside Backs: Waisake Naholo, Tevita Li, Tevita Nabura , Josh McKay, Ben Smith

HURRICANES

Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Ricky Riccitelli

Props: Fraser Armstrong, Chris Eves, Alex Fidow, Ben May, Toby Smith, Jeff To’omaga-Allen

Locks: James Blackwell, Geoff Cridge, Sam Lousi, Liam Mitchell, Isaia Walker-Leawere

Loose forwards: Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Gareth Evans, Vaea Fifita, Sam Henwood, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea

Scrumhalves: Finlay Christie, Richard Judd, TJ Perenara

Flyhalves: Beauden Barrett, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Fletcher Smith

Centres: Vince Aso, Wes Goosen, Ngani Laumape, Billy Proctor, Matt Proctor

Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, Ben Lam, Jonah Lowe, Nehe Milner-Skudder, James Marshall, Salesi Rayasi

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