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Fijians in Super Rugby 2018

Thursday, November 02, 2017

THE New Zealand-based 2018 Super Rugby franchises have named Fijians in some of their teams.

The list includes All Blacks' Seta Tamanivalu and Waisake Naholo, Jone Macilai and Manasa Mataele, Tevita Nabura and even former Flying Fijian Tabai Matson who will be in the Chiefs' coaching team.

Famous name back in

the BNZ Crusaders

The Crusaders have brought seven new players on board for their tilt at back-to- back Super Rugby crowns in 2018.

Having engineered a near-flawless debut campaign at the Crusaders helm, coach Scott Robertson is unlikely to stray too far from the tried-and-true.

But he has brought in reinforcements, with three forwards and four backs joining the side's extensive All Blacks brigade.

Up front, the side's additions are all in the loose forwards, where Tom Sanders, Bill Harmon and Ethan Blackadder (son of former Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder) have agreed to wear the red-and-black.

"I'm really proud of the squad we've announced and, as a coaching group, we're looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with this team," Robertson said.

Forwards: Michael Alaalatoa, Scott Barrett, Ethan Blackadder, Wyatt Crockett, Mitchell Dunshea, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Billy Harmon, Oliver Jager, Andrew Makalio, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Tom Sanders, Quinten Strange, Jordan Taufua, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Sam Whitelock.

Backs: Tim Bateman, George Bridge, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Mike Delany, Mitchell Drummond, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Bryn Hall, David Havili, Mitchell Hunt, Will Jordan, Jone Macilai, Manasa Mataele, Richie Mo'unga, Jack Stratton, Seta Tamanivalu.

Chiefs' squad

The Chiefs will take on a markedly different complexion in 2018 after losing a score of regulars to European rugby.

New coach Colin Cooper has introduced seven reinforcements to the side that fell at the semi-final stage of this year's Super Rugby campaign, including Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Luke Jacobson and the returning Marty McKenzie.

The 20-year-old Jacobson, a loose forward by trade, was the captain of New Zealand's under-20 World Championship-winning side this year.

The Chiefs have lost plenty of stalwarts over the off-season, including playmaker Aaron Cruden, halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and James Lowe.

Coach Dave Rennie also took up a job with the Glasgow Warriors.

They have retained seven current All Blacks, including club captain Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick, McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Former Crusaders assistant and Bath boss Tabai Matson, formerly Cooper's assistant with the Maori All Blacks, is also joining the Chiefs.

Forwards: Props: Aidan Ross, Atunaisa Moli, Kane Hames, Mitchell Graham, Nepo Laulala, Sosefo Kautai.

Hookers: Liam Polwart, Nathan Harris, Samisoni Taukei'aho

Locks: Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Fin Hoeata, Michael Allardice

Loose forwards: Lachlan Boshier, Liam Messam, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Sam Cane, Taleni Seu, Tyler Ardron. Halfbacks: Brad Weber, Jonathan Taumateine, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

First five-eighths: Damian McKenzie, Marty McKenzie, Tiaan Falcon

Midfield: Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, Johnny Faauli, Regan Verney.

Midfield/outside back: Tim Nanai-Williams

Outside backs: Levi Aumua, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson, Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu.

Lomax joins 7 new Highlanders

The Highlanders have added eight players to their Super Rugby squad for 2018, including prodigious prop Tyrel Lomax.

The 21-year-old front-rower, son of former Kiwis star John, has moved across from the Melbourne Rebels in the hope of cracking the All Blacks.

He played for Tasman in this year's provincial competition.

He joins four new backs and three other new forwards in coach Aaron Mauger's squad, as they hope to reclaim the trophy they won in 2015.

Mauger's youthful troupe will be complemented by a number of senior All Blacks, including Ben Smith, Aaron Smith and Liam Squire.

It also includes eight current or former All Blacks, as well as seven Maori All Blacks - including captain Ash Dixon.

Highlanders: Forwards: Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Shannon Frizell, Dillon Hunt, James Lentjes , Dan Pryor, Alex Ainley, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Josh Dickson, Pari Pari Parkinson, Kalolo Tuiloma, Siate Tokolahi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Tyrel Lomax, Aki Seiuli, Guy Millar, Ash Dixon, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Liam Coltman

Backs: Ben Smith, Josh McKay, Tevita Li, Waisake Naholo, Tevita Nabura, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Richard Buckman, Patelesio Tomkinson, Matt Faddes, Rob Thompson, Teihorangi Walden, Lima Sopoaga, Fletcher Smith, Josh Ioane, Josh Renton, Kayne Hammington, Aaron Smith

Kirkpatrick returns to Blues

First five Daniel Kirkpatrick has returned to the Blues for the 2018 season after a six-year stint in France.

Kirkpatrick joins Bryn Gatland and Stephen Perofeta in the battle for the number 10 with Hurricanes signing Otere Black ruled out for the entire season after suffering an ACL injury.

Kirkpatrick, who played six games for the Blues in 2010, has been playing for French second division side SC Albi after three seasons at Castres.

Blues squad:

Hookers: Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons.

Front row: Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Ofa Tuungafasi.

Locks: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jimmy Tupou

Loose forwards: Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Dalton Papalii, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai.

Halfbacks: Sam Nock, Augustine Puli, Jonathan Ruru.

First Five: Otere Black/Daniel Kirkpatrick, Bryn Gatland, Stephen Perofeta.

Midfield: Matt Johnson, George Moala, Tamati Tua, TJ Faiane, Sonny Bill Williams.

Outside backs: Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melanie Nanai, Jordan Trainor.

11 new faces in Hurricanes

There are 11 new faces in the Hurricanes squad with All Blacks rookie Asafo Aumua joining a strong trio of hookers at the franchise. Aumua will battle with All Blacks starting number two Dane Coles and Ricky Riccitelli for a spot in the match-day squad.

Hurricanes squad: : Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Alex Fidow, Reg Goodes, Ben May, Toby Smith, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, James Blackwell, Murray Douglas, Michael Fatialofa, Sam Lousi, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Gareth Evans, Vaea Fifita, Sam Henwood, Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson, Jamie Booth, Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jackson Garden- Bachop, TJ Va'a, Ihaia West, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett, Wes Goosen, Ben Lam, Jonah Lowe, Nehe Milner- Skudder, Julian Savea.

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