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Super Rugby 2023

  • 23-06-2022 9:44am
    Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    May as well start a new thread as there are movement already ahead of SR 23

    Highlanders have named Clarke Dermody as the head coach for the next 3 seasons following Tony Browns departure to join Jamie Joseph again at Japan. Dermody has already made two signings ahead of SR23. Jonah Lowe joining from Chiefs, who will be a major player, and the young Dutch lock Fabian Holland signs on after impressing for otago this season. Liam Coltman leaves to Lyon, leaving only Aaron Smith and Marty Banks as the remaining players who played in the season winning 2015 team. Also leaving is Palesio Tompkinson to dragons

    DMAK is back with the chiefs after his sojourn in Japan

    pablo matera leaves the crusaders as a super rugby pacific winner. its expected he'll sign to a Japanese team

    The blues swap out big Karl Tu'inukuafe and bring back in Paddy Tuipolotu, and Canes let Scrafton and Wes Goosen go.

    Thers lots of movement out of Aussie teams, especially the brumbies with four high profile senior players leaving. Sio, Fa'ainga, Banks and Simone all leaving. Threbels shed Toomua, Ross HP, Joe Powell, wells, ma'afu and hanson. The force who are always a rotating door club have released Ralston to connacht, godwin, Mcintyre, medrano and Lee-warner. They are also loosing three legends to retirement in Thrush, Kahui and Holmes. Northampton Saints are the beneficiaries of signing two decent reds forwards in Salakaia-loto and Angus scott-young. The tahs bring back in Kurtle beale and Nadolo, but i cant help feel they will be weaker for the loss of Tizzano, newsome, smith, cridge and Ramm (another saints import)

    Movement so far at the drua and pasifika have been scare (thankfully) though Drua losing Ratave to Benetton is surely the type of signings that we dont want to see... but i fits minimal then i guess thats ok.

    Rumbles that Samu Kerevi will return at the tail end of the 2023 season, as hes contracted in japan till then.

    Also rumblings of course that the financial disparity between the tv rights paid to NZRU and RA will cause problems going forward. I expect this to get satisfied, but the Fijian Drua may get caught in the middle again with questions as to who they would side with if a split does happen. They could be competitive in Australia, but may be financially better off if they sided with NZ



  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Richard Whiffin has been handed the attack portfolio for the Highlanders in 2023.

    Formerly of the London Irish club, Whiffin was a member of the management team that steered the club to a Heineken Cup semi-final in 2008 and a Premiership final in 2009. Highlander’s current Head Coach, Clarke Dermody, was also involved in that final as a player for London Irish.

    Whiffin became the Club’s attack coach in 2010, developing an exciting style of play before heading to Gloucester in 2016 to implement a development plan for the club’s academy players.

    His flair for attack was recognised in 2018 when he joined the England U20 coaching group to lead the attack and backs.

    In May 2019 he joined the Scarlets Club and again was tasked with directing the team’s attacking play where he worked alongside former Highlander’s defence coach, Glenn Delaney. Whiffin led the club to be among the top try scoring teams in the PRO14 over the last few years.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    super rugby 2023 fixture schedule made:

    by my counting Fiji Drua have 6 home matches proposed in Fiji.

    Moana Pasifika have one game proposed in Apia in Samoa

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭PMC83

    Really does feel like Super Rugby could be completely gone in the coming years. Surely the Ozzies understand it's a much more interesting product with the kiwi teams in it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,889 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

    Seems to be a lot of posturing. RA can only attract a 1/3 of the TV money NZ can. That’s with the draw of the NZ teams being involved. So a purely domestic competition will probably only warrant a fraction of that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭PMC83

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  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    The Highlanders have announced Otago NPC Coach Tom Donnelly has been appointed as their forwards coach for two years from 2023.

    Highlanders Head Coach Clarke Dermody has welcomed the appointment having observed Donnelly growing his coaching skills over the last several years.

    That now completes the Clarke Dermody’s 2023 coaching group, with Donnelly responsible for the lineout, kick-offs and general forward’s play, Dave Dillon will handle defence, Richard Whiffin on attack and Riki Flutey looking after skills and the backs while Chris Boyd will be the coaching mentor.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    some crusaders news

    George Bridge off to Montpellier with immediate effect

    Sevu Reece signs on until 2024

    Brodie McAllister signs on until 2025

    some chiefs news

    Tupou Vaa'i signs on until 2025

    Kaylum Boshier resigns for 2023

    Kalab Trask off to honda heat for '23, to return for '24

    some Blues news

    Reiko Ioana and Nepo Lualala sign contract extensions to cover 2023

    some hurricanes news

    Ardie Savea to join Kobe Steelers for the 2024 season

    Jordie Barrett and De Plessi Kirifi extend until 2025

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    Backs:  James Arscott, Connor Garden-Bachop, Marty Banks, Mosese Dawai, Folau Fakatava, Sam Gilbert, Scott Gregory, Mitch Hunt, Vilimoni Koroi, Jonah Lowe, Cameron Millar, Jona Nareki, Fetuli Paea, Aaron Smith, Josh Timu, Thomas Umaga-Jensen

    Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley, Leni Apisai, Nikora Broughton, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Dickson, Shannon Frizell, Ethan De Groot, Billy Harmon (Capt.), Max Hicks, Fabian Holland, Luca Inch, Ayden Johnstone, James Lentjes, Andrew Makalio, Rhys Marshall, Saula Ma’u, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Pari Pari Parkinson, Hugh Renton, Jeff Thwaites, Will Tucker, Sean Withy

    very decent set of forwards

    very light in midfield


  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Crusaders 2023 squad

    PropsJoe Moody, Finaly Brewis, George BowerOli JagerTamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell

    Hookers: Codie TaylorBrodie McAlister, George Bell

    Locks: Sam Whitelock, Scott BarrettQuinten Strange, Mitchel Dunshea, Zach Gallagher

    Loose Forwards: Ethan BlackadderTom ChristieCullen Grace, Sione Havili Taliutui, Corey Kellow, Dominic Gardener, Christian Lio-Willie

    Half-backs: Mitch Drummond, Noah Hotham, Willi Heniz

    First Five-Eights: Richie Mo’ungaFergus Burke, Taha Kemara

    Midfielders: Dallas McLeod, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue

    Outside Backs: Leicester Faianga’anuku, Sevu ReeceWill JordanMacca SpringerChay FihakiMelani Nanai, Pepesana Patafilo

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Blues 2023 squad


    Adrian Choat (Auckland), Sam Darry (Canterbury), Kurt Eklund (Bay of Plenty), Josh Fusitu’a (Auckland), Alex Hodgman (Auckland), Akira Ioane (Auckland), Nepo Laulala (Counties Manukau), James Lay (Auckland), Dalton Papalii (Counties Manukau), Taine Plumtree (Wellington), Marcel Renata (Auckland), Ricky Riccitelli (Taranaki), Tom Robinson (Northland), Rob Rush (Northland), Anton Segner (Tasman), Hoskins Sotutu (Counties Manukau), Cameron Suafoa (North Harbour), James Tucker (Waikato), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland), Ofa Tuungafasi (Northland), Soane Vikena (Auckland).


    Beauden Barrett (Taranaki), Finlay Christie (Tasman), Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Corey Evans (Auckland), Taufa Funaki (Auckland), Bryce Heem (Auckland), Rieko Ioane (Auckland), AJ Lam (Auckland), Sam Nock (Northland), Stephen Perofeta (Taranaki), Harry Plummer (Auckland), Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens (Taranaki), Zarn Sullivan (Auckland), Caleb Tangitau (Auckland), Mark Telea (North Harbour), Tanielu Tele’a (Auckland), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Auckland)

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  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    2023 Gallagher Chiefs squad:

    Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Bay of Plenty, 33)

    Kaylum Boshier (Taranaki, 13)

    Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 136)

    George Dyer (Waikato, 7)

    Samipeni Finau (Waikato, 17)

    Bryn Gatland (North Harbour, 23)

    Josh Ioane (Otago, 8)

    Luke Jacobson (Waikato, 48)

    Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato, 98)

    Josh Lord (Taranaki, 15)

    Peniasi Malimali (Counties Manukau, 0)*

    Damian McKenzie (Waikato, 95)

    Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato, 3)

    Atunaisa Moli (Tasman, 53)

    Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau, 28)

    Alex Nankivell (Tasman, 57)

    Emoni Narawa (Bay of Plenty, 9)

    Ollie Norris (Waikato, 27)

    Simon Parker (Waikato, 3)

    Rameka Poihipi (Canterbury, 13)

    Jared Proffit (Taranaki, 0)*

    Ngantungane Punivai (Canterbury, 0)*

    Cortez-Lee Ratima (Waikato, 9)

    Rivez Reihana (Northland, 8)

    Brodie Retallick (Hawkes Bay, 114)

    Xavier Roe (Waikato, 16)

    Aidan Ross (Bay of Plenty, 60)

    Manaaki Selby-Rickit (Bay of Plenty, 0)*

    Bradley Slater (Taranaki, 38)

    Pita Gus Sowakula (Taranaki, 52)

    Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour, 67)

    Angus Ta’avao (Auckland, 61)

    Samisoni Taukei’aho (Waikato, 62)

    Tyrone Thompson (Hawkes Bay, 5)

    Quinn Tupaea (Waikato, 33)

    Tupou Vaa’i (Taranaki, 30)

    Brad Weber (Hawkes Bay, 109)

    Gideon Wrampling (Waikato, 1)

    Brackets denote players’ provincial union and Gallagher Chiefs caps.

    * denotes a player that is yet to debut for the Gallagher Chiefs

    Bolded players denote a rookie, those who have signed their first full-time DHL Super Rugby Pacific contract.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    The 2022 Hurricanes squad:



    Owen Franks – Canterbury

    Tyrel Lomax – Tasman

    Tevita Mafileo – Bay of Plenty

    Xavier Numia – Wellington

    Pouri Rakete-Stones – Hawkes Bay

    Pasilio Tosi – Bay of Plenty


    Asafo Aumua – Wellington

    Dane Coles – Wellington

    Jacob Devery – Hawke’s Bay


    Dominic Bird – Wellington

    James Blackwell – Wellington

    Caleb Delany – Wellington

    Justin Sangster – Bay of Plenty

    Isaia Walker-Leawere – Hawke’s Bay

    Loose Forwards

    Devan Flanders – Hawkes Bay

    Tekamaka Howden – Manawatu

    Brayden Iose – Manawatu

    Du’Plessis Kirifi – Wellington

    Peter Lakai* – Wellington

    Tyler Laubscher – Manawatu

    Reed Prinsep – Canterbury

    Ardie Savea – Wellington


    Inside Backs

    Jamie Booth – North Harbour

    Brett Cameron* – Manawatu

    TJ Perenara – Wellington

    Aidan Morgan – Wellington

    Cam Roigard – Counties Manukau


    Riley Higgins* – Wellington

    Billy Proctor – Wellington

    Bailyn Sullivan – Waikato

    Peter Umaga-Jensen – Wellington

    Outside Backs

    Jordie Barrett – Taranaki

    Ruben Love – Wellington

    Joshua Moorby – Northland

    Kini Naholo* – Taranaki

    Salesi Rayasi – Auckland

    Julian Savea – Wellington

    Dan Sinkinson* – Waikato

    *New contracted Hurricanes

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Yeah_Right

    Cheers Syd. Appreciate the update. Have to say I have a real bugbear with squads being announced in alphabetical order. Don't understand why they can't group the players by position.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Laziness I'd say. No reason that some can do it and others don't

    That's a very settled blues squad this year. They will be gunning for silverware

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Yeah_Right

    @sydthebeat Next year's our year!!

  • Does Fergus Burke at 10 have any Irish heritage?

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    havent a clue FTD, but as Shamus Hurly-Langton has shown us, a name isnt an indication of heritage any more 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Yeah_Right

    Typical. Bloody Paddies trying to poach our players 🤬😆

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,889 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Freddie burns to highlanders

    English first-five Freddie Burns will join the Highlanders for the 2023 edition of DHL Super Rugby Pacific. Burns, currently playing for Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership has agreed terms with the Highlanders, and with the support of Leicester, will land in New Zealand prior to the first round.

    The 32-year-old Burns will bring with him a wealth of experience having started his first-class career with Gloucester back in 2010. His first turn at Leicester was between 2014-2017 before three seasons with Bath and Burns has over 200 appearances in the Premiership to his name. In 2021 he had a short sojourn in Japan before returning to Leicester for the 2022 season.

    A former England U20 representative he represented the senior side five times most notably debuting against the All Blacks in 2012, replacing Owen Farrell, in their 38-21 victory.

    A prolific goal kicker and tactically sound first-five, who can also play fullback, he was the toast of Leicester when he dropkicked the winning goal for the Tigers against Saracens in the 2022 Gallagher Premiership final.

    Burns is looking forward to the experience.

    “As a young lad I grew up watching Super rugby in the early hours of morning. To have the opportunity to represent such a prestigious club as the Highlanders in the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season is a huge honour. I look forward to getting started and adding to the group both on and off the field”

    Highlanders Head Coach Clarke Dermody has welcomed the arrival of the experienced playmaker.

    “Having a player of Freddie’s calibre available to us in such a crucial position is a real boost for the squad. Last year we were exposed at 10 due to a run of injuries and while we covered the situation, we were asking a lot of Sam Gilbert and Vili Koroi who are not regular starting first-fives. Freddie’s arrival will provide us with that extra insurance against that scenario playing out again in 2023”.

    Burns will be the second international back to be added to Dermody’s 2023 squad with Argentinian outside back Martin Bogado also set to play in Highlanders colours.

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  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    aaron smith finally leaving the highlanders at the end of 2023. End of an era.

    All Blacks Test and Highlander’s centurion Aaron Smith has announced he will spend time playing overseas at the end of 2023. 

    Smith and Beauden Barrett have signed with the Toyota club in Japan and while Smith has committed to a long-term contract, New Zealand Rugby is working with Barrett on a return to playing on home soil.

    Both players have cemented their place in the top echelon of world rugby. The two most-capped backs in All Blacks history, Smith (114) and Barrett (112 – second equal with Dan Carter) are part of an exclusive group to have won Rugby World Cup and Super Rugby titles.

    “From the time I signed my first contract in 2008 until now, I have been living my dream,” said Smith. I have been blessed to represent my home with the Manawatū Turbos, who helped me chase my dream of being a Super Rugby player.

    “I have to say a big thanks to the Highlanders for believing in me. I have done it all with that team and they have always been there for me. Thank you to every Highlanders player, staff member and fan. You have given me everything and more in the 13 years we have had together.”

    Smith was an integral part of the Highlanders’ maiden Super Rugby title in 2015 and is the team’s most-capped player (176).

    Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said: “You look at Aaron and you think, this guy could go on forever. I know we and every Highlanders fan would want him to.

    “Unfortunately, that is not a reality in professional rugby and the time has come to say thank you, good luck, and goodbye. That will not be easy for us, our fans or Aaron. He is such a massive part of the Highlanders story, our most-capped player and surely one of our best ever.

    “We wish him, Teagan, Luka and Leo all the very best in Japan, and I would encourage everyone to come out this season and watch the master at work one last time.”

    Highlanders head coach Clarke Dermody was equally lavish with his praise for the All Black: “Aaron has defined halfback play and the way we like to play the game, fast, skilled, and determined for so long it’s hard to imagine a team sheet without his name on it.

    “As a team, we can only thank him for all that he has done for us and wish him, Teagan and his family all the best for the future.”

    The former Fielding High School student debuted for Manawatū in 2008 and has amassed 47 appearances for the province, becoming their most-capped international. 

    "Aaron's commitment and dedication to Manawatū has been unquestionable,” said Manawatū Rugby CEO Andrea Jackson said. “That has been made even more clear in recent seasons when he has donned the famous green and white jersey in between his All Blacks duties, in 2020 and 2021.

    "We wish Aaron and his whanau all the best for their next adventure, and we hope to see him back one day to bring up his 50th match for Manawatū.”

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    lets whet the appetite for the "other" rugby happening this weekend !!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Yeah_Right

    Cheers Syd. Nearly forgot all about it. Who has the broadcast rights for this part of the world this year?

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,129 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    Sky Sports do.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    in other news of irishmen abroad, Oil Jager had neck surgery following this seasons NPC and will remain out of action for the foreseeable.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    who wants to throw in their predictions for super rugby 23?

    im thinking.....


    runners up:

    break out player:

    most disappointing team:

    moment of the season:

    ill go first

    winners: Blues. has to be their year surely. after topping the league last year only to not show up in the final they have a point to prove. settled squad will only be better than last year.

    runners up: crusaders. they cant keep winning everything, razor to AB coach may affect them towards the end of the season

    break out player: Miracle Fai'ilagi. Blessed with that name, he will be the rampaging young exuberant loosie that pasifika missed last year.

    most disappointing team: brumbies. after a pretty stand out year last under McKellar, Stephen Larkham comes in with a great legacy, and little else. im predicting a QF exit

    moment of the season: im gonna cheat here and kinda give two, but im predicting both the drua and pasifika will beat the rebels at some stage this season, with one of them to reach top 8.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭Yeah_Right

    @sydthebeat Right, I'll have a go.

    Winners: Blues. They have to. Please!! Dear god, please!!!

    Runners up: Reds. Brad Thorn magic.

    Break out players: I didn't watch enough NPC last year so ..... I'm going to pick a few. Segner from the Blues to make ABs squad, the Blues outside back with the ridiculously long hyphenated name will carve a few teams up, Fakatava to be back to his best, Aumua to live up to his potential and take the Canes starting spot from Coles, Fergus Burke because he's a fly half playing for the Crusaders and that's what they do, and Macca Springer because what a great name.

    Most disappointing team: I agree with the Brumbies but I'll also say the Tahs to continue to be ****. So that will be disappointing for the Aussies.

    Moment of the season: The Drua to score a match winning try against the Crusaders that starts from behind their own goal line and goes through 20 pairs of hands despite them being down to 13 men. Ruben Love to make everyone compare him to Christian Cullen. Freddie Burns to kick a match winning drop goal and get vilified by fans and media because its NZ and that's not the done thing 🤣 And the biggest moment, the Blues lifting the trophy!! Please.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    haha nice one YR !

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,495 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    maybe my prediction of the rebels crapness is over before the season begins..

    Taniela Tupou has signed a two-year deal to stay in Australia but is quitting the Queensland Reds to join the Melbourne Rebels from 2024.

    Rugby Australia has granted Tupou’s demand to “show me the money” with a multi-million dollar deal.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,398 ✭✭✭swiwi_

    I’m actually in NZ and posting from wgtn airport. Was hoping to see a match while here but everything next weekend is in 1 venue in Aussie if I’m not mistaken.

    still miss the inaugural super rugby seasons in the 90s, was a savage comp when it first started. How different rugby would be today if French and English had centrally contracted players! Loved watching Christian Cullen back in the day, most exiting attacking FB ever

    there are fewer and fewer kiwis going to Europe but Japan scoops up the cream and USA the npc level players.

    nz team will win. Other than that haven’t looked too hard at teams. Jager rotten timing with his injury.