Halai named in Counties squad

Date published: July 28 2015

Counties Manukau have announced their squad for the upcoming ITM Cup campaign, with 11 of their 32-man group boasting Super Rugby experience.

Steelers coaches Tana Umaga, Grant Henson and Glen Rowe selected a squad that possesses 22 players who represented the team in 2014's term.

All players with the exception of loan signing, NZ and Samoan U20 Johnny Fa'auli from Canterbury and those who were unavailable due to Super Rugby, have all played their club rugby in Counties Manukau.

New players to the squad include former Hurricanes centre Cardiff Vaega and former Chiefs wider training squad fly-half Piers Francis.

"We have retained the core of our team from last season which is pleasing. We have also given some players the opportunity to take the next step up who have shown good form during the Counties Power Club Rugby season," Umaga told Counties' website.

"We are under no illusions that the competition gets harder every year, so we believe we have established a squad that will help us deliver the results we expect.

"As this is my last season with Counties Manukau I am keen for our team to do well for our supporters and finish on a strong note for a Provincial Union that will always remain special to me.

"I have really enjoyed my time at Counties Manukau and want to thank everyone for their support and hope they come out and get behind us again this year."

2015 Counties Manukau ITM Cup squad: Sam Aiono, Sione Anga'aelangi, Onosai'i Auva'a, Sean Bagshaw, Nathan de Thierry, Johnny Fa'auli, Sione Fifita, Jarrod Firth, Piers Francis, Frank Halai, Kane Hancy, Sam Henwood, Dan Hyatt, Ngataua Hukatai, Joe Ikenasio, Richard Judd, Mike Lawrenson, Michael Lea, Sikeli Nabou, Pauliasi Manu, Jared Page, Augustine Pulu, Toni Pulu, Viliame Rarasea, Gafatasi Su'a, Jordan Taufua, Jimmy Tupou, John Tu'ungafasi, Maama Vaipulu, Sam Vaka, Cardiff Vaega, Sonny Bill Williams.