Thursday 14 December 2017 / 01:20 AM

KIWI TEAMS REVEAL SUPER RUGBY SQUADS FOR 2018

Here’s how the New Zealand Super Rugby squads – all announced on Wednesday – will stack up in 2018:

BLUES

The Blues have lost All Blacks Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua and Rene Ranger, while No.10 duo Ihaia West and Piers Francis also depart. Otere Black arrival from the Hurricanes but has already been ruled out for the season with an ACL injury, which sees Wellington’s Daniel Fitzpatrick to come in and try to fill the troublesome flyhalf role.

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 Puli, 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

It’s a major transitional year on the cards for the Chiefs, with Hika Elliot, Michael Leitch, Tawera Kerr- Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Stephen Donald and James Lowe headlining the departures, and Colin Cooper taking over from Dave Rennie. Hurricanes No.9 back-up Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi will attempt to replace Kerr-Barlow, while Marty McKenzie returns from the Crusaders.

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

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

CRUSADERS

The Crusaders have called up several Mitre 10 Cup players, included Todd Blackadder’s son, Ethan, while a low-key departures contingent includes Jed Brown, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Digby Ioane, Marty McKenzie and Sean Wainui – all fringe starters.

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: 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

HIGHLANDERS

Stalwarts Malakai Fekitoa, Patrick Osborne, Joe Wheeler, Gareth Evans, Marty Banks and Shane Christie will take some replacing. The most notable arrivals in new coach Aaron Mauger’s squad are outstanding Wellington centre Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Australian-born prop Tyrel Lomax, son of former Kiwi rugby league enforcer John.

Forwards: Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Shannon Frizell, Dillon Hunt, James Lentjes , Dan Pryor, Alex Ainley, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Josh Dickson, Pari Pari Parkinson, Kalolo Tuiloma, Siate Tokolahi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Tyrel Lomax, Aki Seiuli, Guy Millar, Ash Dixon, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Liam Coltman

Backs: Ben Smith, Josh McKay, Tevita Li, Waisake Naholo, Tevita Nabura, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Richard Buckman, Patelesio Tomkinson, Matt Faddes, Rob Thompson, Teihorangi Walden, Lima Sopoaga, Fletcher Smith, Josh Ioane, Josh Renton, Kayne Hammington, Aaron Smith

HURRICANES

Several members of Wellington’s dominant Mitre 10 Cup Championship side get Super Rugby contracts, including new All Black Asafo Aumua, and playmaker Jackson Garden-Bachop. Gareth Evans and Ihaia West provide depth after arriving from rival franchises. The most notable departures are Cory Jane, Mark Abbott, James Broadhurst, Otere Black, Pita Akhi, Callum Gibbins and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

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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