Rugby: Southland flavour to Highlanders squad

Exciting Southland back Robbie Robinson. Photo by NZPA
Exciting Southland back Robbie Robinson. Photo by NZPA
Southland's outstanding season has been recognised with the selection of a record 11 players in the 2010 Highlanders squad announced this morning.

In other significant selections, Canterbury No 8 Nasi Manu and Northland prop Bronson Murray will join the Highlanders in the draft.

The pair were among seven new caps in the southern franchise when the New Zealand Super 14 squads were named today.

Manu, Murray and two Hawkes Bay players, Jason Shoemark and Matt Berquist, who were members of the Highlanders this year, were taken by coach Glenn Moore in the draft.

Other new caps are exciting Southland back Robbie Robinson, promising Southland loose forward John Hardie, Southland lock Joe Tuineau, former Canterbury winger James Paterson and former Wellington and Blues five-eighth Michael Hobbs.

Paterson has signed for Southland and Hobbs is weighing up a contract from Otago.

Midfield back Jason Kawau has again been drafted to the Hurricanes.

Other features of the squads include first fives Stephen Brett and Daniel Bowden switching places, with Brett joining the Blues and Bowden leaving the Highlanders for the Crusaders, the selection of talented Counties-Manukau fullback Tim Nanai-Williams in the Chiefs, a Hurricanes debut for Manawatu flyer Andre Taylor, and the presence of three Whitelock brothers in the Crusaders.

New Zealand squads announced today for the 2010 Super 14 rugby championship:

HIGHLANDERS: Backs: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Fetu'u Vainikolo, James Paterson, Kendrick Lynn, Jason Shoemark, Jayden Hayward, Michael Hobbs, Robbie Robinson, Matt Berquist, Jimmy Cowan, Sean Romans. Forwards: Stephen Setephano, Nasi Manu, Alando Soakai, Tim Boys, Adam Thomson, John Hardie, Josh Bekhuis, Tom Donnelly, Hayden Triggs, Joe Tuineau, Chris King, Bronson Murray, Jamie Mackintosh, Clint Newland, Jason Macdonald, Jason Rutledge.

BLUES: Backs: Paul Williams, Rudi Wulf, George Pisi, Rene Ranger, Joe Rokocoko, Anthony Tuitavake, Isaia Toeava, Benson Stanley, Luke McAlister, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Stephen Brett, Chris Smylie, Alby Mathewson. Forwards: Viliame Ma'afu, Chris Lowrey, Tom Chamberlain, Serge Lilo, Peter Sa'ili, Jerome Kaino, Kurtis Haiu, Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, John Afoa, Charlie Faumuina, Tony Woodcock, Tevita Mailau, Keven Mealamu, Tom McCartney.

CHIEFS: Backs: Mils Muliaina, Tim Nanai-Williams, Dwayne Sweeney, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Jackson Willison, Callum Bruce, Stephen Donald, Mike Delany, Brendon Leonard, Junior Poluleuligaga. Forwards: Sione Lauaki, Colin Bourke, Jarrad Hoeata, Tanerau Latimer, Luke Braid, Liam Messam, Romana Graham, Craig Clarke, Kevin O'Neill, Callum Retallick, Nathan White, Ben Afeaki, James McGougan, Sona Taumalolo, Aled de Malmanche, Hika Elliot.

HURRICANES: Backs: Cory Jane, Andre Taylor, Hosea Gear, David Smith, Tamati Ellison, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Jason Kawau, Aaron Cruden, Willie Ripia, Tyson Keats, Piri Weepu. Forwards: Rodney So'oialo, Nick Crosswell, Karl Lowe, Scott Waldrom, Victor Vito, Michael Paterson, Jason Eaton, James Broadhurst, Bryn Evans, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Anthony Perenise, John Schwalger, Jacob Ellison, Andrew Hore, Dane Coles.

CRUSADERS: Backs: Colin Slade, Jared Payne, Zac Guildford, Kade Poki, Sean Maitland, Adam Whitelock, Robert Fruean, Tim Batemen, Ryan Crotty, Daniel Carter, Daniel Bowden, Andy Ellis, Kahn Fotuali'i. Forwards: Thomas Waldrom, Richie McCaw, George Whitelock, Jonathan Poff, Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Chris Jack, Isaac Ross, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Ben Franks, Peter Borlase, Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn, Ti'i Paulo.


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