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October 27, 2006 at 8:55 am #7364
2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 Squads announced
Air New Zealand Cup unveils exciting, new talent
New Zealand’s 2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 squads have been confirmed today, following a selection meeting at the New Zealand Rugby Union offices in Wellington yesterday, attended by the coaching staff of the five New Zealand Franchises.
NZRU Deputy Chief Executive Steve Tew said the NZRU and the Franchises recognised that, because of the Rugby World Cup, next year was a unique year for the New Zealand Rebel Sport Super 14 sides and would allow a number of players who had been identified during the Air New Zealand Cup an opportunity to further their careers at the next level.
“The selected squads are evidence of the real depth across the country and the injection of exciting, new players will add real spice to the competition,” Mr Tew said.
Mr Tew said there would be interest in the make-up and shape of the New Zealand sides, with established Rebel Sport Super 14 stars playing alongside new players and draft players from outside the region.
“I think New Zealand rugby fans will find the mix quite exciting and will look forward to the kick off of the competition in February,” he added.
The Blues and Crusaders kick off next year’s Rebel Sport Super 14 competition when they play the opening match in Auckland on 2 February. The final is on 19 May.
In explaining the selection process, Mr Tew said the five New Zealand squad sizes differed as coaches were able to pick players to replace those players on the All Blacks’ conditioning programme. The squad sizes are Blues (32), Chiefs (31), Hurricanes (34), Crusaders (35) and Highlanders (30).
The squads include 42 new Rebel Sport Super 14 players who were able to showcase their abilities during the inaugural Air New Zealand Cup. They are as follows:
Blues: Auckland prop Chris Heard, flanker Onosa’i Tololima-Auva’a and wing James Somerset; and Waikato prop Sam Biddles.
Chiefs: Waikato prop Craig West and fellow front-rower Aled de Malmanche, lock Toby Lynn, halfback Brendon Leonard, midfielder Richard Kahui and utility back Dwayne Sweeney; and Bay of Plenty first five-eighth Murray Williams.
Hurricanes: Wellington flanker Serge Lilo, halfback Alby Mathewson and wing Cory Jane; Manawatu lock Hayden Triggs, Auckland wing David Smith, Canterbury flanker Hayden Hopgood and Southland first five-eighth Blair Stewart.
Crusaders: Canterbury loose forwards Kieran Read and Peter Nixon, hooker Ti’i Paulo, locks Michael Paterson and Isaac Ross, midfielder Tim Bateman and first five-eighth Stephen Brett; Tasman prop Ben May and his flanker teammate Jonathon Poff; Northland loose forward Jake Paringatai and North Harbour first five-eighth Tusi Pisi.
Highlanders: Tasman winger Lucky Mulipola, Otago prop Keith Cameron, loose forwards Alando Soakai and Ezra Taylor, halfback Toby Morland, fullback Craig Clare, first five-eighth Charlie Hore, midfielder Aaron Bancroft and winger Greg Zampach; Southland hooker David Hall, prop Jamie Mackintosh, lock Kane Thompson and midfielder Jason Kawau.
The full squads also include 16 draft players (indicated below) and seven players returning to Rebel Sport Super 14 rugby – Otago fullback Glen Horton, Auckland loose forward Jerome Kaino (brought in as a replacement player in 2005) and hooker Derren Witcombe, Waikato lock Keith Robinson, Wellington hooker Mahonri Schwalger, Taranaki prop Tony Penn and North Harbour wing Rudi Wulf.
The 2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 squads are as follows:
¹ indicates new Rebel Sport Super 14 player.
² indicates returning Super 14 player.
³ indicates draft player.
Blues: John Afoa (Auckland), Ben Atiga (Auckland), Sam Biddles ¹ ³ (Waikato), Anthony Boric (North Harbour), Daniel Braid (A
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