2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 wider training groups selected     23 Nov 2006    

The announcement of the wider training groups follows the selection of the 2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 squads last month.

NZRU Professional Rugby Manager Neil Sorensen said the wider training group players would train part time with the Rebel Sport Super 14 squads and provide cover in the case of injuries.

“For some of these players, this is the first step to becoming a fully-fledged professional player. It’s a great opportunity for them to be involved in training but they will also have time for work, study and other professional development opportunities,” he said.

“The squads also include players with Rebel Sport Super 14 experience and leading Air New Zealand Cup players which illustrates the depth of playing talent we have in New Zealand and how tight the competition is for Super 14 spots,” he added.

The Rebel Sport Super 14 wider training squads for 2007 are as follows:

Blues: North Harbour prop James Afoa, Auckland hooker Tom McCartney, Auckland lock Kurtis Haiu, Auckland loose forward Andrew Blowers, Auckland halfback Taniela Moa, Auckland midfielder Jamie Helleur and Northland winger Rene Ranger.

Chiefs: Counties Manukau prop Sekope Kepu, Waikato hooker Scott Linklater, Counties Manukau lock Andrew Van Der Heijden, Waikato flanker Steven Setephano, Waikato halfback David Bason, Bay of Plenty first five-eighth Mike Delany and Bay of Plenty midfielder Cory Aporo.

Hurricanes: Wellington prop Anthony Perenise, Wellington hooker Luke Mahoney, Wellington lock Jeremy Thrush, Wellington lock Ross Kennedy, Manawatu flanker Nick Crosswell, Hawke’s Bay lock / loose forward George Naoupu, Taranaki halfback Brett Goodin and Wellington first five-eighth Miah Nikora.

Crusaders: Canterbury prop Mike Smith, Canterbury hooker Steve Fualau, Canterbury lock Craig Clarke, Tasman halfback Kahn Fotuali’i, Canterbury midfielder Ben Nowell, Canterbury wing Steven Yates and Canterbury wing Nick Thomson.

Highlanders: Otago prop Jeremy Aldworth, Otago hooker Jed Vercoe, Otago loose forward Adam Thomson, Otago halfback Ryan McCarthy, Southland first five-eighth James Wilson, Southland fullback Pehi Te Whare and Southland wing Willie Rickards.

Note: The NZRU and all franchises have all agreed for the Hurricanes to have an extra player in their wider training group. Franchises will also be announcing an extra player in due course.