NZ Super Rugby Squads Named for 2017
On Wednesday this week, Australian sports punters and rugby enthusiasts were glued to their screens as New Zealand Super Ruby announced the squad selection for the 2017 season. In total, 190 players were announced for New Zealand to play for the Chiefs, the Blues, the Hurricanes, the Crusaders and the Highlanders. Of the 190 players, thirty-three will make their debut, clearly reflecting the depth of talent available in the country. Neil Sorensen, New Zealand’s Ruby general manger said that the balance between the experienced players and the mix of new players highlighted the overall stability of the teams.
In 2016, New Zealand dominated Super Rugby and for so many new players to be joining an already talented squad is a sign of a healthy rugby network and a depth of talent that extends beyond Super Ruby. In New Zealand and Australia, Super Rugby is a powerful pathway into higher honours for all of the players involved. It is a chance for players to put themselves forward for national selection. The 2017 squad will include eight players who have already played for the New Zealand under 20s side in 2016. This demonstrates that the country is able to transition players all the way through the system into the top tier of the game.
Young Talent to Shine in 2017
The youngest player to join the New Zealand Super Rugby line-up is a talented youngster by the name of Rieko Loane. Rieko will turn 20 at the start of the 2017 season and has already made his way into the All Blacks side for their Northern Tour. It seems the New Zealand rugby talent runs in the family as the 2017 squad will include a total of seven sets of brothers. The brothers to look out for are the Loane, Savea, Whitlock, Lienert-Brown, Goodhue and the Barret brothers.
Top rated New Zealand team, the Blues hope a blend of old and new players can push them towards the all-important Super Rugby playoffs next year. The blues squad announcement didn’t hold to many surprises as the major changes to the side had already been widely publicized. This includes the move of Sonny Bill Williams, Pauliasi Manu and Augustine Pulu from the Chiefs.
With such a diverse mix of new and seasoned players there’s no doubt that the 2017 New Zealand Super Ruby season is one that’s going to provide action and excitement aplenty.