Collins, Ruru feature in Super squads

Michael Collins passes the ball for the Blues last year. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Collins passes the ball for the Blues last year. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Collins and Jono Ruru are the two Otago players to be announced in Super Rugby squads so far this morning.

The duo will feature for the Blues, with Collins returning after debuting for the Auckland-based franchise this year.

Meanwhile the Blues squad also features first five-eighth Daniel Kirkpatrick who has returned 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.

Other additions to the Blues 2018 squad include North Harbour's Mike Tamoaieta, Tasman's Isaac Salmon and Southland's Matt Johnson while Caleb Clarke, Dalton Papalii and Tamati Tua join the team after coming through the Blues development programme.

In another injury blow for the Blues, loose forward Blake Gibson will be out for the first part of the Super season in recovery from an operation on his shoulder.

The other squads see various newcomers, alongside many familiar returning faces for the 2018 season.

Blues squad

Forwards: Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Ofa Tuungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jimmy Tupou, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Dalton Papalii, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai.
Backs: Sam Nock, Augustine Pulu, Jonathan Ruru, Otere Black/Daniel Kirkpatrick, Bryn Gatland, Stephen Perofeta, Matt Johnson, George Moala, Tamati Tua, TJ Faiane, Sonny Bill Williams, Caleb Clarke, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai, Jordan Trainor.

Chiefs squad

Forwards: Aidan Ross, Atunaisa Moli. Kane Hames, Mitchell Graham, Nepo Laulala, Sosefo Kautai, Liam Polwart, Nathan Harris, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Fin Hoeata, Michael Allardice, Lachlan Boshier, Liam Messam, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Sam Cane, Taleni Seu, Tyler Ardron.

Backs: Brad Weber, Jonathan Taumateine, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Damian McKenzie, Marty McKenzie, Tiaan Falcon, Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, Johnny Faauli, Regan Verney, Tim Nanai-Williams, Levi Aumua, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson, Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu.

Crusaders squad

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.

Hurricanes squad

Forwards: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Alex Fidow, Reg Goodes, Ben May, Toby Smith, Jeffery To'omga-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.

Backs: 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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