Time has expired for management teams to settle on their team sheets in 2020. Each Super Rugby franchise has officially submitted their squads for the 25th season of the Southern Hemisphere professional rugby competition.
A big day for the stakeholders; New Zealand Rugby, the franchise administration, coaching staff and – front and center on the field – players. 39 are contracted to every Super Rugby franchise. And the mix is as important for the teams’ immediate planning and goalsetting.
Each head coach has enjoyed a day of media commitments. That might be seen as a distraction, however, each franchise also wishes to promote their goals towards fans. Those are local, as well as International. The appeal of Super Rugby is widely found, so discussing and broadcasting new and existing team members is ‘the name of the game’.
Team naming is also good exposure for the combinations and future starting line-ups. So for those franchises who have had to recruit heavily, the need to promote new signings is an important factor in preseason. Because that starts within weeks and the start of the 2020 season is set for January 31.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 12, 2019
Reshuffle of Super Rugby franchise team sheets in 2019
The Super Rugby franchise system sees players centrally contracted to the national union. A hierarchy system, with the All Blacks holding premier position, with International, Super, and provincial contracts that make-up those individuals remuneration. From there, secondary layers are made up of experienced Super representatives, who also hold a provincial contract.
Third in the standings are newly signed rugby players. In 2020, there will be 46 ‘rookies’ who will experience the Super Rugby franchise environment for the first time.
In comparison team-by-team, the Crusaders have the equal highest number, besides the Highlanders: 12. While that is a considerable number, several of those names have previously played Super Rugby on an interim contract (or have played in Australia). That includes 2019 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Sevu Reece.
But whomever the names are within the fresh group, they will all have opportunities. In being signed, they are one stage higher in the pecking order. A step inside a circle, that much closer to national representation – Reece being the perfect example, starring at the Rugby World Cup after one season in the competition.
Listed by Super Rugby franchise, below are the full team sheets. Most will have a recognizable core, even when missing a group of retired players who have departed New Zealand waters. But all five will agree on one factor. 2020 is going to be a year of change…..and that could be reflected in the team holding the SANZAAR Super Rugby trophy, in June.
BLUES 2020 Squad:
Forwards: Kurt Eklund, Ray Niuia, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Sione Mafileo, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Jacob Pierce, Patrick Tuipulotu, Baden Wardlaw, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Tony Lamborn, Dalton Papalii, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu, James Tucker.
Backs: Finlay Christie, Sam Nock, Jonathan Ruru, Beauden Barrett, Otere Black, Jack Heighton, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer, TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Joe Marchant, Tanielu Tele’a, Caleb Clarke, Matt Duffie, Jordan Hyland, Emoni Narawa, Jared Page, Mark Telea.
Introducing the Blues 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ Squad
— The Blues (@BluesRugbyTeam) November 12, 2019
CHIEFS 2020 Squad:
Forwards: Nathan Harris, Bradley Slater, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ryan Coxon, Nepo Laulala, Atunaisa Moli, Reuben O’Neill, Aidan Ross, Angus Ta’avao, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Tyler Ardron, Michael Allardice, Laghlan McWhannell, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Sam Cane, Pita Gus Sowakula, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Karpik, Dylan Nel.
Backs: Lisati Milo-Harris, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Brad Weber, Aaron Cruden, Tiaan Falcon, Damian McKenzie, Kaleb Trask, Orbyn Leger, Anton Lienert-Brown, Tumua Manu, Alex Nankivell, Bailyn Sullivan, Solomon Alaimalo, Sam McNicol, Kini Naholo, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Shaun Stevenson, Quinn Tupaea, Sean Wainui.
HURRICANES 2020 Squad:
Forwards: Pouri Rakete-Stones, Fraser Armstrong, Alex Fidow, Tyrel Lomax, Ben May, Xavier Numia, Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Ricky Riccitelli, James Blackwell, Kane Le’aupepe, Liam Mitchell, Scott Scrafton, Isaia Walker-Leawere Vaea Fifita, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea, Murphy Taramai, Devan Flanders, Gareth Evans.
Backs: TJ Perenara, Jamie Booth, Jonathan Taumateine, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Fletcher Smith, Ngani Laumape, Vince Aso, Billy Proctor, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Danny Toala, Kobus van Wyk, Wes Goosen, Ben Lam, Jonah Lowe, Salesi Rayasi, Jordie Barrett, James Marshall, Chase Tiatia.
CRUSADERS 2020 Squad:
Forwards: Michael Alaalatoa, Harry Allan, Scott Barrett (c), Ethan Blackadder, George Bower, Tom Christie, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Mitchell Dunshea, Cullen Grace, Billy Harmon, Sione Havili, Oliver Jager, Andrew Makalio, Brodie McAlister, Joe Moody, Luke Romano, Ethan Roots, Tom Sanders, Quinten Strange, Codie Taylor, Isi Tuungafasi.
Backs: George Bridge, Fergus Burke, Brett Cameron, Mitchell Drummond, Ere Enari, Braydon Ennor, Leicester Faingaanuku, Inga Finau, Jack Goodhue, Bryn Hall, David Havili, Will Jordan, Manasa Mataele, Dallas McLeod, Richie Mo’unga, Fetuli Paea, Sevu Reece.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) November 10, 2019
HIGHLANDERS 2020 Squad:
Forwards: Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Ricky Jackson, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Iosefa-Scott, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Jeff Thwaites, Ethan De Groot, Pari Pari Parkinson, Josh Dickson, Jack Whetton, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, James Lentjes, Dillon Hunt, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Shannon Frizell, Sione Misiloi, Zane Kapeli, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Jesse Parete.
Backs: Aaron Smith, Kayne Hammington, Folau Fakatava, Bryn Gatland, Josh Ioane, Mitch Hunt, Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Teihorangi Walden, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Scott Gregory, Ngane Punivai, Jona Nareki, Tevita Nabura, Josh McKay, Michael Collins, Chris Kuridrani, Connor Garden-Bachop.
The 2020 Super Rugby season kicks off on January 31.
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