Tasman steals an All Black for Mitre 10 Cup
Tasman have been hard at work recruiting for this years Mitre 10 Cup which is to kick off on 11th September.
They’re obviously taking this years cup defence very seriously and have managed to secure the services of some really big Super Rugby names – the latest of which is All Black and Crusaders try scoring machine Sevu Reece who has scored 8 tries in his 12 appearances so far this year as well as 23 tries in 26 appearances since joining the Crusaders as injury replacement for Israel Dagg. Joining him is Auckland Blues paceman Mark Telea, arguably the most elusive runner in Super Rugby right now who has crossed the whitewash 7 times so far this season.
With these two in scintillating form of late Tasman has looked at increasing their try scoring ability ten fold!!
Reece and Telea who have left Waikato and North Harbour respectively will join the already burgeoning ranks of quality backs in the side with fellow Super Rugby stars David Havili, Will Jordan and Leicester Fainga’anuku.
Tasman’s chief executive Tony Lewis informed Stuff that signings were a case of an insurance policy as he expected at least two of his outside back to crack the nod with the All Blacks this year in the Rugby Champs.
“We were looking to protect ourselves, so with the idea of Will Jordan or David Havili becoming All Blacks, then we leave ourselves a little bit isolated,’’ Lewis told Stuff.
“We’re assuming of those five, two will become All Blacks. Which two is interesting. But it gives us an insurance policy on the wing.’’
Lewis also confirmed that midfielder Kieron Fonotia and hooker Quentin MacDonald have returned to New Zealand and would turn out for the Mako this season.
Former Crusader Fonotia, 31, left New Zealand after the 2016 season and has been plying his craft for Welsh sides Ospreys and Scarlets.
MacDonald, also 31-years-old, played for the Crusaders, Chiefs and Blues in the past, and amassed 78 caps for Tasman between 2007 and 2015.
Tasman’s coaching group remains largely unchanged from last year and will again be led by Crusaders assistant Andrew Goodman and Highlanders assistant Clarke Dermody along with former Highlander Shane Christie rounding out the team.
A year after becoming the first team since Auckland (2007) to go unbeaten through a season, the Mako are favourites with the Kiwi bookies, ahead of Canterbury to raise the cup in this year’s competition.
The two sides in the Crusaders’ region play in a pre-season match in Hanmer Springs on September 4.
All provinces are required to submit their 2020 squads for scrutiny to New Zealand Rugby by September 1.