Rugby

NZ franchises name Super Rugby squads

2015-10-28 11:44
Highlanders, 2015 champions (Getty Images)

London - Always one step ahead of the game, New Zealand's five Super Rugby franchises have already named their 2016 squads.

Don't expect to see the six South African franchises confirm their squads until late in January next year...

According to the SANZAR Super Rugby website, the 2016 Super Rugby season will see 33 New Zealand-based players make their debuts including 11 who were part of this year's World Champion New Zealand Under-20 side.

A total of 195 players have been confirmed as contracted members of one of the five New Zealand Super Rugby teams which includes 46 players receiving full-time contracts for the first time.

New Zealand General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said he was excited by the talent within the squads.

“Today’s Super Rugby announcements come at a particularly thrilling time of year for rugby. As everyone’s eyes are on our national team up ‘north’, it’s important to note that all of the guys who are in that team are our stars of Super Rugby and their performances highlight how critical this competition is.

“What’s also really exciting to see this year is the bounty of youth in the squads. Of all the debutants, 11 players were in this year’s winning New Zealand U20 side. The fact they have picked up Super Rugby contracts at a young age is just fantastic.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them performing out on the field - not only in the coming season, but in the years ahead. As we witness the retirement of some of New Zealand's finest ever players, I’m sure we will see many future legends of New Zealand rugby emerge.

“In addition, a number of players have picked up their first contracts after standout form in the ITM Cup.”

The 2016 squad lists see the return of 22 Rugby World Cup 2015 All Blacks including Kieran Reid (Crusaders), Sam Cane (Chiefs), Jerome Kaino (Blues), Victor Vito (Hurricanes) and Ben Smith (Highlanders). 

The season gets under way on Friday, February 26 as 2015 champions the Highlanders go up against the Blues in Auckland before the Brumbies host the Hurricanes to cap an enormous opening night involving three of last year's four semi-finalists. The Crusaders take on the Chiefs at home the following night in the second all-New Zealand derby of the opening weekend.

With the exception of All Blacks currently at Rugby World Cup 2015, most Super Rugby players are now officially on leave with the majority returning for training in late November.

Super Rugby debutants will attend a one-day induction with New Zealand Rugby in late November.

BLUES

Josh Bekhuis, Dan Bowden, Matt Duffie, Joe Edwards, TJ Faiane, Charlie Faumuina, Piers Francis, Blake Gibson, Billy Guyton, Bryn Hall, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Ben Lam, Tevita Li, Michael Little, Steven Luatua, Quentin MacDonald, Matt McGahan, Sione Mafileo, Hoani Matenga, Nic Mayhew, George Moala, Matt Moulds, Melani Nanai, Sam Nock, James Parsons, Sam Prattley, Kara Pryor, Rene Ranger, Jack Ram, Scott Scrafton, Jordan Trainor, Gerrard Tuioti-Mariner, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Lolagi Visinia, Namatahi Waa, Ihaia West

CHIEFS

Michael Allardice, Johan Bardoul, Dominic Bird, Sam Cane, Stephen Donald, Aaron Cruden, Hika Elliot, Glen Fisiiahi, Siegfried Fisiihoi, Mitchell Graham, Nathan Harris, Andrew Horrell, Mitchell Karpik, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tevita Koloamatangi, Nepo Laulala, Michael Leitch, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Pauliasi Manu, Rhys Marshall, Damian McKenzie, Sam McNicol, Atu Moli, Charlie Ngatai, Augustine Pulu, Toni Pulu, Brodie Retallick, Tom Sanders, Teleni Seu, Shaun Stevenson, Seta Tamanivalu, Chase Tiatia, Siate Tokolahi, James Tucker, Ma'ama Vaipulu, Latu Vaeno, Sam Vaka, Brad Weber, Sonny Bill Williams

CRUSADERS

Michael Ala'alatoa, Scott Barrett, Jed Brown (medical exemption), Tim Boys, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg (medical exemption), Mitchell Drummond, Andy Ellis, Sione Fifita, Kieron Fonotia, Owen Franks, Robbie Fruean, Ben Funnell, Jack Goodhue (medical exemption), David Havili, Mitchell Hunt, Alex Hodgman, Nemani Nadolo, Jone Macilai, Marty Mckenzie, Johnny McNicholl, Joe Moody, Richie Mo'unga, Tim Perry (medical exemption), Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Ged Robinson, Pete Samu, Jordan Taufua, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, Ben Volavola, Sean Wainui, Sam Whitelock

HIGHLANDERS

Alex Ainley, Marty Banks, Richard Buckman, Shane Christie, Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Elliot Dixon, Brendon Edmonds, Jason Emery, Matt Faddes, Malakai Fekitoa, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Ross Geldenhuys, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Jackson Hemopo, Josh Hohneck, Daniel Lienert-Brown, James Lentjes, Craig Millar, Waisake Naholo, Patrick Osborne, Hayden Parker,, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Dan Pryor, Mark Reddish, Josh Renton, Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Liam Squire, Fumiaki Tanaka, Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Ryan Tongia, Teihorangi Walden, Luke Whitelock, Joe Wheeler

HURRICANES

Mark Abbott, Pita Ahki, Leni Apisai, Vince Aso, Beauden Barrett, Otere Black, James Broadhurst, Dane Coles, Geoffrey Cridge, Chris Eves, Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson-Park, Reggie Goodes, Willis Halaholo, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Cory Jane, Tony Lamborn, Ngani Laumape, Christian Lloyd, James Marshall, Motu Matu'u , Ben May, Nehe Milner-Skudder, TJ Perenara, Matt Proctor, Hugh Renton, Hisa Sasagi, Ardie Savea, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Blade Thomson, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Loni Uhila, TJ Va'a, Victor Vito, Jason Woodward

Read more on:    super 15  |  rugby
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