10 new players in Highlanders squad

Date published: October 29 2014

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Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has announced his squad to compete in the 2015 Super Rugby tournament.

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has announced his squad to compete in the 2015 Super Rugby tournament.

The squad of 38 is made up of 32 players on full contract and also six players in the Wider Training Group. 22 players are returning from the 2014 season.

Amongst the 10 new players, the front row has been reinforced with the additions of props Pingi Tala’apitaga (Bay of Plenty), Ross Geldenhuys (Tasman), Josh Hohneck (Waikato), Brendon Edmonds (Hawke’s Bay) and hooker Ash Dixon (Hawke’s Bay).

Alex Ainley (Tasman) and Mark Reddish (Wellington) have been added to the lock stocks and loose forward Dan Pryor (Northland) rounds out the new forwards.

Waisake Naholo (Taranaki) and Marty Banks (Tasman) are the only new players in the backs and both had stand-out ITM Cup seasons.

The Wider Training Group includes five Otago players in Lee Allan, Sam Anderson-Heather, Joe Latta, Josh Renton and Tei Walden, and also Ryan Tongia (Hawke’s Bay).

Joseph, commented that new players would all contribute positively to the environment.

“All these guys have great character and will add value to the team,” he said.

“I am happy with the balance and depth of the 2015 squad.”

The Highlanders begin their season with a home match in round two at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday 21 February against the Crusaders after a bye in round one.

2015 Highlanders squad:
Forwards: Kane Hames, Pingi Tala’apitaga, Ma’afu Fia, Ross Geldenhuys, Josh Hohneck, Brendon Edmonds, Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Tom Franklin, Joe Wheeler, Alex Ainley, Mark Reddish, Dan Pryor, Gareth Evans, John Hardie, Shane Christie, Nasi Manu, Elliot Dixon.
Backs: Aaron Smith, Fumiaki Tanaka, Marty Banks, Lima Sopoaga, Hayden Parker, Trent Renata, Shaun Treeby, Jason Emery, Malakai Fekitoa, Richard Buckman, Waisake Naholo, Patrick Osborne, Ben Smith, Kurt Baker.

Wider Training Group: Sam Anderson-Heather, Joe Latta, Lee Allan, Josh Renton, Tei Walden, Ryan Tongia

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