Experience is no problem, with the naming of the Hurricanes for the Investec Super 15. The 2011 squad boosts nearly 1000 Super caps a number that would be hard pushed to be achieved by other Super Sides in 2011.
New coach Mark Hammett has named an exciting side that could surprise in the newly formatted competition. The players as well as Hammett have much to prove in RWC year with several of the squad on the fringe of the All Black squad.
Hammett will immediately be under the spotlight having got the job he was after. Hammett has spent several seasons at the Crusaders, learning his craft at the most successful franchise in the competition, and with such an experienced side to take command of in his first role as a head coach will be expected to get immediate results.
Hammett has also just announced his wider training group of youngsters that will be expected to step into the limelight should a regular squad member fall over during the season.
Interesting players to keep an eye on during the season include the return of Jason Eaton at lock who along with Nem Tialata, Rodney So’oialo and Victor Vito will want to show their versatility to the All Black selectors during the extended competition. In the backs the return of Piri Weepu will be much anticipated, with Aaron Cruden and Corey Jane both keen to get back on the ‘Three Wise Men’s’ radar. Hosea Gear will also have his chance to become New Zealand’s top winger going into the RWC, but with him quickly becoming the best finisher in the country it will also be interesting to see how he compares with the World Under 20 Player of the Year, Julian Savea on the other wing – could he be the RWC bolter for the AB’s in 2011?
Hurricanes Wider Training Group:
Reg Goodes (Wellington)
Blade Thomson (Taranaki)
Scott Fuglistaller (Wellington)
Michael Coman (Hawke’s Bay)
TJ Perenara (Wellington)
Beauden Barrett (Taranaki)
Jayden Hayward (Taranaki)
Richard Buckman (Hawke’s Bay)
Hurricanes Full Squad:
Fullbacks: Cory Jane
Wingers: Hosea Gear, Alipati Leiua, Julian Savea, Andre Taylor
Midfield: Charlie Ngatai, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith
First five-eigths: Aaron Cruden, Daniel Kirkpatrick
Halfbacks: Chris Eaton, Tyson Keats, Piri Weepu
Loose forwards: Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Serge Lilo, Karl Lowe, Rodney So’oialo, Victor Vito
Locks: James Broadhurst, Jason Eaton, Bryn Evans, Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush
Props: Michael Bent, Jacob Ellison, Anthony Perenise, John Schwalger, Neemia Tialata
Hookers: Dane Coles, Laurence Corlett, Andrew Hore
Hurricanes Super Record
1997 Hurricanes losing Semi Finalist
2005 Hurricanes losing Semi Finalist
2006 Hurricanes lost to the Crusaders 12-19 in the Final
2008 Hurricanes losing Semi Finalist
2009 Hurricanes losing Semi Finalist