Where are they now? The 2016 Super Rugby-winning Hurricanes

Jared Wright
The Hurricanes Dane Coles with winning trophy following the Super Rugby Final, Hurricanes versus Lions, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday, August 06, 2016.

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles with the Super Rugby trophy.

The 2016 Super Rugby season saw the Hurricanes win the tournament for the first time, ending a 20-year wait for a maiden title.

The Chris Boyd-led side won 11 of their 15 regular season matches to top the Australasian conference and overall standings and secure their passage into the knockout stages.

There, they defeated the Sharks and Chiefs to set up a showdown with the Lions in the final, hosted in Wellington.

Boyd’s charges dominated proceedings in the final as they ran out 20-3 victors.

With the Hurricanes enjoying a stellar 2024 season, we take a look at where the 2016 stars are now eight years after that memorable win over the Lions.

15 James Marshall

James Marshall played in 14 of the Hurricanes’ 18 matches en route to winning the title. At the end of that season, he moved to England, signing with then-Championship club London Irish.

He spent two seasons with the Exiles before signing a deal to return to the Hurricanes in 2019, where he would hang up his boots just a year later due to a hip injury.

Upon his retirement, Marshall immediately moved into coaching, taking over from Carlos Spencer at the Hurricanes. After moving to Nelson, he joined the Tasman Mako coaching team before being recruited to join Scott Robertson’s staff.

While he continues to coach at the Crusaders, Marshall is also the host of the popular rugby podcast What a Lad.

14 Cory Jane

Cory Jane would feature in the Hurricanes’ title defence in 2017 and had a stint in Japan with the Toshiba Brave Lupus before the 2011 Rugby World Cup-winning winger hung up his boots.

Like Marshall, Jane started his coaching career shortly after retiring from professional rugby, starting with Wellington Lions in the NPC. Specialising in defence, Jane caught the eye of the Hurricanes and joined the coaching ranks of his former team in 2020.

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13 Matt Proctor

Matt Proctor’s young brother Billy is now featuring in the midfield for the Hurricanes after the former departed for Northampton Saints in 2019, linking up with Boyd at the Premiership club.

Before heading abroad, Proctor did earn a single Test cap for the All Blacks, scoring on debut against Japan in 2018.

After a largely successful spell with Northampton, Proctor returned to Super Rugby, joining Australian side Melbourne Rebels ahead of the 2024 season.

12 Willis Halaholo

Willis Halaholo’s final season with the Hurricanes was the 2016 title-winning season, which was his last before he left New Zealand to join Welsh side Cardiff.

He qualified to represent Wales through residency in 2019 but only made his Test debut in 2021, against Scotland.

He continues to represent Cardiff after signing a short-term deal with the side until the end of the 2023/24 season.

11 Jason Woodward

Jason Woodward also left the Hurricanes after their title-winning season and linked up with Bristol before making the switch to Gloucester after just one season.

He remained with the Cherry and Whites until 2022 and then joined Sale Sharks. He would play just a handful of games before he was released by the side at the end of the 2022/23 season.

10 Beauden Barrett

After winning a first Super Rugby title with the Hurricanes in 2016, Beauden Barrett has continued to be one of the best players in the world, winning the World Rugby Player of the Year award in 2016 and 2017.

He has also gone on to play over 100 Test matches for the All Blacks and left the Hurricanes in 2020 to join the Blues. He has had stints in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath and Toyota Verblitz but will return to the Blues in 2025 having re-signed with the Auckland-based side and New Zealand Rugby until 2027.

9 TJ Perenara

The Hurricanes’ top-try scorer in Super Rugby continues to represent the side, having recovered from a long-term injury that saw him miss the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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8 Victor Vito

Double Rugby World Cup-winning forward Victor Vito joined the illustrious list of players to have won both Super Rugby and the Champions Cup after making the move to French club La Rochelle in 2016. He hung up his boots after lifting the Champions Cup title with La Rochelle in 2022.

Since his retirement, Vito has moved into the hospitality business and is a consultant at DERBY Hospitalité & Evénementiel.

7 Ardie Savea

Already a key figure in the Hurricanes team in 2016, Ardie Savea has gone from strength to strength and is a crucial member of the All Blacks squad and was named World Rugby Player of the Year in 2023 after helping New Zealand reach the World Cup final.

Following the World Cup, Savea joined Japanese side Kobelco Kobe Steelers but will return to the Hurricanes in 2025.

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6 Brad Shields

Brad Shields returned to the Hurricanes in 2024 after leaving the side in 2017 in order to join Premiership club Wasps and chase his dream of playing international rugby. He made his Test debut for England in 2018, earning a total of nine caps for the Red Rose.

Following the collapse of Wasps, Shields headed to France, joining Perpignan before returning to New Zealand with Wellington and then the Hurricanes.

5 Michael Fatialofa

Second-rower Michael Fatialofa left the Hurricanes in 2018 to join Worcester Warriors. He quickly became a regular starter for the Warriors before suffering a heartbreaking career-ending neck injury.

After undergoing surgery, Fatialofa was told to prepare for life in a wheelchair, but he beat the odds and walked unaided a few months after his operation.

He now works as a Keynote Speaker and is also a Sales Consultant at Akairo Construction ltd.

4 Vaea Fifita

Vaea Fifita made his Test debut for the All Blacks in 2017 and would feature at the 2019 World Cup for New Zealand. In 2021, he left the Hurricanes and joined Shields at Wasps.

In 2022, he made the switch to Scarlets and remained at the Welsh side despite reports that he will depart.

In 2022, he also switched international allegiances to his country of birth, Tonga, and represented the ʻIkale Tahi at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

3 Ben May

Remarkably, Ben May continued his career until 2022 with the tighthead prop playing professional rugby until the age of 40.

The veteran hung up his boots after becoming the first Hurricanes player to play 100 Super Rugby matches without winning a Test cap.

2 Dane Coles (c)

The 2016 title-winning skipper continued to play regularly for the All Blacks until 2023, when he announced his retirement from international rugby.

Coles was set to retire from all forms of rugby in 2023 but delayed his retirement to take up a deal with Kubota Spears as medical cover for injured Springbok Malcolm Marx.

1 Loni Uhila

The front-rower affectionately known as “The Tongan Bear” left the Hurricanes in 2017 to join Top 14 club Clermont before signing for La Rochelle in 2020.

He was released by La Rochelle in 2022 to join Rugby Club Hyères in the lower leagues of French Rugby. He played for the club until the end of the 2022/23 season.

16 Ricky Riccitelli

Ricky Riccitelli remained at the Hurricanes until 2021 when he decided to leave the side and joined Super Rugby rivals the Blues.

17 Chris Eves

The loosehead prop left the Hurricanes in 2019 to join the Sunwolves ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby. He had a stint in Australia with Randwick following the cancellation of the Super Rugby season due to the pandemic.

18 Mike Kainga

The tighthead prop continues to play lower-league rugby in New Zealand.

19 Mark Abbott

After leaving the Hurricanes in 2017, Mark Abbott headed to Japan playing for the Sunwolves, Munakata Sanix Blues and continues to play for the Saitama Wild Knights.

20 Callum Gibbins

Livewire flanker Callum Gibbins signed for Glasgow Warriors in 2017 and became a fan favourite with the Scottish side. He left Glasgow in 2020 to join Major League Rugby side, Old Glory DC.

He signed with the American side as a player-coach and has moved into the latter after hanging up his playing boots.

21 Jamison Gibson-Park

Now widely regarded as one of the finest scrum-halves in the game, Jamison Gibson-Park has enjoyed a hugely successive career following his departure from the Hurricanes in 2016.

He qualified to represent Ireland through residency in 2019 and made his Test debut during the 2020 Six Nations. He has since become a regular starter for Ireland and was a key figure in their Six Nations Grand Slam in 2023 and has been equally brilliant for Leinster.

22 Vince Aso

After helping the Hurricanes win the Super Rugby title in 2016, Vince Aso enjoyed a brilliant 2017 season scoring 14 tries in 15 appearances. He remained with the Wellington-based side until the end of the 2021 season.

He left the team to join Japanese outfit the Panasonic Wild Knights who he still plays for.

23 Julian Savea

Julian Savea returned to New Zealand after a largely unsuccessful stint in France with Toulon between 2018 and 2020. He returned to play for the Hurricanes between 2021 and 2023 before signing for Moana Pasifika, where he went on to break Israel Folau’s all-time leading try-scoring tally in Super Rugby.

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