Highlanders confirm squad for next season

Highlanders co-captain Aaron Smith at training at Forsyth Barr Stadium this week.PHOTO: GREGOR...
Aaron Smith will captain the Highlanders next season. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The Highlanders have included several surprises in their squad for 2022.

Hooker Rhys Marshall, lock Sam Caird, lock/flanker Max Hicks and winger Mosese Dawai were among the unexpected newcomers for next year's Super Rugby Pacific.

Marshall and Caird both bring plenty of experience, Marshall in particular having been touted as an All Black prospect earlier in his career.

Among the other newcomers were Otago duo Saula Mau and Sean Withy, as well as Gareth Evans, who returns for his second stint with the team.

The team will be captained by Aaron Smith.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown is excited with the team his coaching group have been able to bring together youth, talent and experience.

“We’re really looking forward to taking on Super Rugby Pacific with this team, we have some good experience up front, good play makers in the backs, and good size and pace mixed throughout the squad ”.

“It’s going to be a short preseason so it’s good to have so many guys familiar with how we do things returning in 2022, we will obviously need to hit the ground running” said Brown.

2022 Super Rugby Pacific Highlanders Squad

Props: Ayden Johnstone, Ethan De Groot, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Jermaine Ainsley, Jeff Thwaites, Josh Hohneck, Saula Mau

Hookers:  Liam Coltman, Andrew Makalio, Rhys Marshall

Locks: Josh Dickson, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Bryn Evans, Sam Caird

Loosies: Shannon Frizell, Gareth Evans, James Lentjes, Billy Harmon, Sean Withy, Max Hicks, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Hugh Renton

Halfbacks: Aaron Smith, Folau Fakatava, Kayne Hammington

First fives: Mitch Hunt, Marty Banks

Midfield: Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Patelesio Tomkinson, Ngatungane Punivai, Scott Gregory, Fetuli Paea

Outside backs: Mosese Dawai, Vilimoni Koroi, Josh Timu, Sam Gilbert, Connor Garden-Bachop, Solomon Alaimalo

Unavailable due to injury: Paripari Parkinson, Jona Nareki

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