News | Rugby
11 Dec 2019 2:57
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    46 players have picked up full contracts for the first time across the five New Zealand Super Rugby squads

    46 players have picked up full contracts for the first time across the five New Zealand Super Rugby squads

    The Highlanders and Crusaders boast the most with 12 each.

    Nine international players are selected.

    Notable inclusions are former Sharks midfielder Kobus van Vyk at the Hurricanes, former Reds outside back Chris Kuridrani at the Highlanders and English midfielder Joe Marchant at the Blues.

    Eight players have earned contracts after lining up in this year's New Zealand under-20 squad.

    They are Dallas McLeod, Cullen Grace, Fergus Burke, Leicester Faingaanuku , Etene Nanai-Seturo, Quinn Tupaea, Devan Flanders and Scott Gregory.

    The Blues have lost midfield depth in Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams but coach Leon Macdonald plans to move All Black Rieko Ioane into the midfield.

    Beauden Barrett is the Auckland-based franchise's biggest new signing.

    The Hurricanes have avoided looking elsewhere for a replacement for Barrett, with Fletcher Smith, Jackson Garden-Bachop and James Marshall retained as 10s.

    Former Blues lock Scott Scrafton is a key signing after losing Sam Lousi in the off-season.

    The Highlanders have lost depth with the exits of Tyrel Lomax, Jackson Hemopo, Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, Waisake Naholo and Ben Smith.

    Former Crusaders first-five Mitchell Hunt has a chance to claim the 10 jersey off Josh Ioane, while outside back Michael Collins joins the Highlanders from the Blues.

    The Crusaders are rebuilding with All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read, Owen Franks and Ryan Crotty missing - Scott Barrett has been handed the captaincy.

    Tasman's Sione Havili's been rewarded for his Mitre 10 Cup campaign with a loose forward spot, while wing Sevu Reece is given a full contract.

    The Chiefs have kept a core of first-choice players with six World Cup All Blacks remaining, but Brodie Retallick's absent.

    First-five Aaron Cruden adds experience, while rookie back Quinn Tupaea gets an opportunity to build on two provincial seasons with Waikato.

    © 2019 Newstalk ZB, NZCity

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