ON THE EDGE

New look for Kiwis

Wed, 30 Oct 2013 08:32
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The designs explained below
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There will be 22 rookies in New Zealand's five Super Rugby squads for 2014, but it is the new-look jerseys that are causing the biggest buzz.

Among the 185 players captured by franchises, are 25 players who have been named in the wider training groups for the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders.

The wider squads include six from this year's New Zealand Under-20 squad, and nine from the 2012 NZ U20 side.

They also feature five players who have played in Gordon Tietjens All Blacks Sevens' squads over the last two years.

Tasman has produced much of the new talent for next year's Super Rugby squads.

After winning their NPC Championship (Second Division) Final and promotion into next year's Premiership, the Tasman Makos boast six new players who have trampolined into Super Rugby next year.

Among the Tasman selections are flyhalf Marty Banks and scrumhalf Billy Guyton (WTG) who have both been named with the Hurricanes.

Their Super Rugby picks follow a remarkable two years for the former Heartland Championship players.

Banks ran out for Buller and Guyton for North Otago in the 2012 Heartland Championship.

Their Makos teammates loose forward Liam Squire and wing James Lowe have both been picked into the Chiefs secured 32, while another Tasman loose forward Tevita Kolomatangi has been named in their wider training group.

Tasman midfielder Kieron Fonotia returns to the Crusaders' wider training group.

Other new names to feature include Sam Prattley, Joe Edwards, Patrick Tuipulotu, Benji Marshall, Pita Ahki, Lolagi Visinia, Matt Symons, Ash Dixon, Mark Abbott, Hadleight Parkes, Cardiff Vaega, Mitchell Drummond, Kane Hames, Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Gareth Evans and Frae Wilson.

Among the talent borrowed from overseas are Argentinian prop Matias Diaz, and Fijian monster wing Nemani Nadolo.

For full squad player details click on the links below:
The Blues 2014 squad

The Chiefs 2014 squad
The Hurricanes 2014 squad
The Crusaders 2014 squad
The Highlanders 2014 squad

Unique jerseys designed for 2014 strips

As the 2014 squads were revealed, the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders also unveiled their new strips for 2014.

Jersey design descriptions:

Blues: The Blues region boasts the largest Polynesian population, stunning landmarks and features that are immediately recognisable, such as volcanoes and sparkling waters. The Blues wanted to acknowledge the connection between their people and their surroundings in the 2014 Super Rugby jersey, incorporating emblems that reflect the Pacific and the Blues region, including the sea, sky, frangipani, spears, nets and Rangitoto.

Chiefs: The back-to-back Super Rugby champions took the development of their 2014 jersey very seriously. The team met with renowned Maori designer and artist Dave Burke, and colleagues Luke Crawford and Wally Rifle, to create a jersey that truly embraced their pride, passion and empathy with the central North Island. They worked closely with a group of Maori advisers, including the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board, to ensure the designs used are appropriate and meaningful.

Hurricanes: The power and strength of the hurricane is captured in a vibrant yellow jersey - accented with black and blue, harking back to the original Super Rugby strip for the Hurricanes. Each of the provinces that feed into the team are represented on the inside of the jersey collar - ensuring that the players are reminded of their roots and the role that rugby plays in maintaining pride in the region. There's absolutely no doubt that the Hurricanes will be a force of nature to be reckoned with in 2014.

Crusaders: The Crusaders are a champion team with a proud tradition of taking on all-comers and winning. For 2014 the Crusaders further developed their distinctive medieval theme by incorporating chain mail armour into the design of their jersey. Their unrelenting competitive drive to remain one of the strongest performers in the Super Rugby competition is represented by wearing armour as they head into battle against their foes.

Highlanders: The year will 2014 see the Highlanders embrace their Celtic roots, drawing on the determination and courage of the early settlers. The players and management sought to express their passion and commitment to playing winning rugby in the South. The eight Celtic hoops represent the districts that make up the team that's all heart. The Highlanders are unquestionably the ‘Pride of the South' and this motto is captured in the collar, calling out the zeal and valour indicative of the team and its people.

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