Hurricanes bolster their midfield

Date published: October 29 2014

New Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has a mixture of youth and experience in his squad for the 2015 Super Rugby tournament.

New Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has a mixture of youth and experience in his squad for the 2015 Super Rugby tournament.

Boyd announced his full squad on Wednesday and said the return of Ma’a Nonu and Reynold Lee-Lo specifically, along with the new faces contracted in midfield positions, were key additions to the Hurricanes roster.

“We’re really happy with the return of Ma’a and Rey,” he said.

“Along with Conrad, they make us extremely competitive in the midfield. We’ve also got Willis (Halaholo) and Vince (Aso), both very capable individuals, who will push and learn from the players around them.”

Along with Aso and Halaholo, there are four additional new faces in the Hurricanes’ 2015 squad.

Christian Lloyd and Geoffrey Cridge have been outlined by selectors as a locking combo with huge potential, while Taranaki’s Iopu Iopu-Aso and Jason Woodward will also look to get their first caps for the club.

Manawatu’s Callum Gibbins, Nehe Milner-Skudder, and Chris Eves have all been promoted to full contracts from wider training group status last year, following strong ITM Cup campaigns with the Championship-winning Turbos.

“We’re really pleased with the contracted squad that we have,” added Boyd.

“If we look at those who have departed, we’ve lost some quality players to overseas clubs, but feel we’ve filled those spots well.”

The Hurricanes’ wider training group includes the return of Adam Hill and Mike Kainga, while halfback Frae Wilson has moved north from the Highlanders.

Boyd said young talents Leni Apisai, Otere Black and Hugh Renton had also earned rightful spots in the wider training group.

“We’ve got half an eye on the future and our succession planning, and have recruited some younger guys we hope will grow and develop around our strong core of senior players.”

2015 Hurricanes squad: Ben Franks, Mark Abbott, Geoffrey Cridge, Dane Coles, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Jeremy Thrush, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea, Victor Vito, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Cory Jane, Jason Woodward, Reggie Goodes, Motu Matu’u, John Schwalger, Christian Lloyd, Matt Proctor, Callum Gibbins, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Chris Eves, James Broadhurst, Beauden Barrett, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Blade Thomson, James Marshall, Chris Smylie, Vince Aso, Reynold Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo.

Wider training group: Mike Kainga, Leni Apisai, Frae Wilson, Adam Hill, Otere Black, Hugh Renton.

Coaching staff:
Head coach: Chris Boyd
Assistant coach: John Plumtree
Technical advisors: Clark Laidlaw, Richard Watt