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Kirwan raids Hurricanes' ranks

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:34
Kane-barrett-taranaki-630 John-kirwan-blues-630
It is a balancing act of mixing young and exciting with the older, more experienced heads
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Blues coach John Kirwan on Monday revealed that he had signed four players who have yet to sample Super Rugby, including two from the Hurricanes region.

Taranaki duo Waisake Naholo and Kane Barrett, along with Counties Manukau pivot Baden Kerr and North Harbour scrumhalf Bryn Hall have agreed two-year contracts with the Auckland-based franchise.

The rookies are joined in committing their immediate future to the Blues by No.8 Peter Saili, who was signed on for another year.

Kerr is expected to vie with Chris Noakes for the No.10 jersey, while wing Naholo replaces Toulon-bound Rudi Wulf.

Barrett, who can play lock and loose forward, is a former captain of NZ secondary schools.

Kirwan said the players, aged between 20 and 23, fit their criteria and would blend with more experienced players in the squad.

"As we continue to secure the squad we want for next season, we are thrilled to include these four players," Kirwan said.

"They fit the criteria for the types of players we are looking for in their respective positions as well as how they will mesh with those already in the squad.

"It is a balancing act of mixing young and exciting with the older, more experienced heads and how you blend both those components together across a long season.”

Both Hall and Naholo have represented New Zealand at Under-20 level, while Kerr and Barrett have played representative rugby at provincial level.

All four players will experience their first taste of Super Rugby in 2013 and can't wait.

"The Blues is the team I've always supported, and to now be part of that squad under the pretty impressive coaching team is really exciting,” said Kerr.

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