More flair for NZ franchises

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:25
Large pitaahkiotago Large lolagivisinianorthharbour Large joeedwardswellington Large albertnikorowaikato Large seanpolwartcanterbury

The New Zealand Super Rugby franchises have named their wider training groups for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

The New Zealand Super Rugby franchises have named their wider training groups for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

The wider training groups were named as the players new to Super Rugby squads in 2013 arrived in Wellington on Friday for an induction day at the New Zealand Rugby Union headquarters.

Those players plus wider training group players report for duty for the first time with their franchises next week.

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said this was an exciting time for new players starting their Super Rugby careers or on the verge of it through wider training groups.

"We consider Investec Super Rugby the best international regional competition in the world. We know that these boys are hugely excited about the opportunity to step up to Super Rugby, but on the back of some of the form we saw in ITM Cup, we know we're in for a fantastic 2013 season.

"We wish all the new players well for the 2013 season and we're looking forward to seeing them in action."

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan named an exciting crop of up-and-comers in Pita Ahki, Lolagi Visinia, Joe Edwards, Albert Nikoro and Sean Polwart.

“We were initially concerned because last season there were 40 players used through injury, but at the end of the day I believe we’ve taken the courageous route and we’ve picked some real excitement machines with huge upside and no experience,” Kirwan said.

“The nice thing about all these guys is they’re good enough to be great and that’s their challenge. I think the catch cry for this group is turning their potential into a reality.”

At just 22-years-old, Auckland flank Sean Polwart is the elder statesman of the group, having made five appearances for the Blues.

All the other players have only one season of provincial rugby under their belts, with Visinia having also played for New Zealand Sevens and Ahki representing New Zealand at this year’s Junior World Championship.

“The most important thing I said to them was ‘boys, this is your football team, we need you to show respect for your elders but when you cross the white line I’m expecting you to step up and play Super Rugby’ so it’s a big ask but they’re all incredibly excited about it,” Kirwan said.

Blues: Pita Ahki, Joe Edwards, Albert Nikoro, Sean Polwart, Lolagi Visinia.

Chiefs: Mike Kainga, Michael Leitch, Pauliasi Manu, Maritino Nemani, Matt Vant Leven.

Hurricanes: Richard Buckman, Mike Coman, Ash Dixon, Callum Gibbins, Ope Peleseuma.

Crusaders: Kurt Baker, Adrian Barone, Joel Everson, Paea Fa'anunu, Kieron Fonotia.

Highlanders: Hugh Blake, Tony Ensor, Bronson Murray, Doug Tietjens, Frae Wilson.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0