Crusaders hoist Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy. Photo Courtesy/You Tube

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Crusaders, Blues and co unleash 2021 squads


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Super Rugby Aotearoa sides Crusaders, Blues, Highlanders, Chiefs and Hurricanes have announced their squads that will feature in the 2021 season.

There will be 13 sets of brothers across the five squads, but only three sets play for the same team – Lachlan and Kaylum Boshier (Chiefs), Ardie and Julian Savea (Hurricanes), and Akira and Rieko Ioane (Blues).

The other brothers are Scott and Jordie Barrett (Crusaders & Hurricanes), Peter and Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Hurricanes & Highlanders), Ofa and Isi Tuungafasi (Blues & Crusaders), Jack and Josh Goodhue (Crusaders & Blues), Ngane and Isaiah Punivai (Highlanders & Crusaders), Bailyn and Zarn Sullivan (Chiefs & Blues), Jackson and Connor Garden-Bachop (Hurricanes & Highlanders), Sione and Tevita Mafileo (Chiefs & Hurricanes), and Daniel and Anton Leinert-Brown (Highlanders & Chiefs).

Super Rugby champions, and Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa trophy holders, the Crusaders brought in four Canterbury Mitre 10 Cup players in 20-old props Fletcher Newell and new Maori All Black Williams as well as versatile backs Fihaki and Isaiah Punivai.

The Blues squad includes 12 current or former All Blacks as well as two Samoa Rugby World Cup players in front rowers Ray Nuia and Lay, who returns from a stint with Bristol in England.

Among the rookies is Wellington lock Plumtree, son of All Blacks Assistant Coach John Plumtree, while outside backs Lam, Zarn Sullivan and Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens add to a talented back division.

The Highlanders have just three rookies including Gilbert and the experienced international duo of loose forward Himeno (Japan) and Cromwell-born capped Wallabies lock Ainsley.

The squad also features the return of former All Blacks loose forward Liam Squire following a season in Japan.

The Chiefs ‘rookies’ include a current All Black in 20-year-old Tupou Vaa’i, who came into the squad in 2020 as injury cover before earning an international call up.

Hurricanes squad retains the core of the 2020 squad, welcomes former All Black wing Julian Savea back to the club, and ushers in five rookies including outside Wellington wing Pepesana Patafilo, who earns his first Super Rugby contract at 24.

New signings

First-five Bryn Gatland – to the Chiefs from the Highlanders

Outside back Solomon Alaimalo – to the Highlanders from the Chiefs

Prop Sione Mafileo – to the Chiefs from the Blues

Loose forward Billy Harmon – to the Highlanders from the Crusaders

Utility back Fetuli Paea – to the Highlanders from the Crusaders

Utility back Chase Tiatia – to the Chiefs from the Hurricanes

Utility back Jonah Lowe – to the Chiefs from the Hurricanes

Prop Nepo Laulala – to the Blues from the Chiefs

Loose forward Dillon Hunt – to the Blues from the Highlanders

Full squads

Blues:

Hookers: Ray Niuia, James Parsons, Soane Vikena
Props: Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, James Lay, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi
Locks: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti , Sam Darry, Josh Goodhue, Jacob Pierce, Patrick Tuipulotu
Loose forwards: Blake Gibson, Dillon Hunt, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Taine Plumtree, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu
Halfbacks: Finlay Christie, Sam Nock, Jonathan Ruru
Inside backs: Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer
Midfield: TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Tanielu Tele’a
Outside backs: Caleb Clarke, AJ Lam, Jone Macilai-Tori, Emoni Narawa, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Zarn Sullivan, Mark Telea

Chiefs:

Hookers: Nathan Harris, Bradley Slater, Samisoni Taukei’aho
Props: Sione Mafileo, Atunaisa Moli, Ollie Norris, Reuben O’Neill, Aidan Ross, Angus Ta’avao
Locks: Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Josh Lord, Laghlan McWhannell, Tupou Vaa’i
Loose forwards: Kaylum Boshier, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Sam Cane, Pita Gus Sowakula, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Karpik, Simon Parker
Halfbacks: Xavier Roe, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Brad Weber
Inside backs: Bryn Gatland, Rivez Reihana, Kaleb Trask
Midfielders: Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Bailyn Sullivan, Quinn Tupaea
Outside backs: Jonah Lowe, Damian McKenzie, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Shaun Stevenson, Chase Tiatia, Sean Wainui

Hurricanes:

Props: Pouri Rakete-Stones, Alex Fidow, Xavier Numia, Tyrel Lomax, Fraser Armstrong, Tevita Mafileo
Hookers: Ricky Riccitelli, Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles,
Locks: Liam Mitchell, James Blackwell, Scott Scrafton, Kane Leaupepe, Isaia Walker Leaware
Loose forwards: Du Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Gareth Evans, Ardie Savea, Devan Flanders, Vaea Fifita, Brayden Iose
Halfbacks: Jamie Booth, Jonathan Taumateine, Luke Campbell
Inside backs: Jackson Garden Bachop, Simon Hickey
Midfield: Ngani Laumape, Billy Proctor, Vince Aso, Julian Savea
Outside backs: Salesi Rayasi, Wes Goosen, Jordie Barrett, Danny Toala, Peter Umaga Jensen, Lolagi Visinia, Ruben Love, Pepesana Patafilo

Crusaders:

Props: Joe Moody, Ollie Jager, Isi Tuungafasi, George Bower, Michael Alaalatoa, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell
Hookers: Codie Taylor, Brodie McAlister, Andrew Makalio,
Locks: Scott Barrett, Quentin Strange, Mitchell Dunshea, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano
Loose forwards: Cullen Grace, Tom Sanders, Ethan Blackadder, Sione Havili, Whetu Douglas, Tom Christie
Halfbacks: Mitch Drummond, Ere Enari, Bryn Hall,
Inside backs: Richie Mo’unga, Brett Cameron
Midfield: Jack Goodhue, Fergus Burke, Braydon Ennor, Dallas McLeod,
Outside backs: Chay Fihaki, George Bridge, Manasa Mataele, Sevu Reece, David Havili, Will Jordan, Leicester Faingaanuku, Isaiah Punivai

Highlanders:

Props: Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Jeff Thwaites, Ethan de Groot, Jermaine Ainsley, Josh Hohneck
Hookers: Ricky Jackson, Ash Dixon, Liam Coltman
Locks: Pari Pari Parkinson, Josh Dickson, Maanaki Selby-Rickit, Bryn Evans
Loose forwards: Billy Harmon, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Sione Misiloi, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Liam Squire
Halfbacks: Kazuki Himeno, Aaron Smith, Kayne Hammington, Folau Fakatava
Inside backs: Josh Ioane, Mitchell Hunt
Midfield: Fetuli Paea, Sio Tomkinson, Thomas Umaga Jensen, Ngane Punivai
Outside backs: Nehe Milner Skudder, Connor Garden Bachop, Scott Gregory, Jona Nareki, Solomon Alaimalo, Michael Collins, Sam Gilbert, Vilimoni Koroi

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