While the arrival of highly-regarded internationals* is a welcome addition to the competition, there are also 70 rookies among the 456 contracted players, ready to write themselves into the storied history of Super Rugby.
Amongst the players donning new club colours in 2024 is Angus Ta’avao who has gone full circle back to the Blues where he started his Super Rugby career in 2012, and Julian Savea, who will wear the colours of Moana Pasifika. Brad Shields and Ryan Crotty are other familiar faces to return to their roots with the Hurricanes and Crusaders respectively, bringing vast experience back to their clubs.
Wallabies star Taniela Tupou has touched down at the Melbourne Rebels, the Western Force have lured Nic White and Ben Donaldson to Perth, while the Reds are banking on their young guns, with a remarkable 10 rookies in their squad for 2024.
The Fijian Drua are symbolic of the Super Rugby Pacific’s new beginnings, bristling with confidence after their national team’s Rugby World Cup showing and bolstered with four rookies who have represented Fiji Under 20s.
Joining the class of ‘24 are six international signings* including Wales internationals Leigh Halfpenny (Crusaders) and Rhys Patchell, who is joining Argentina fullback Martín Bogado as he heads into his second season with the Highlanders. There is an international flavour across the competition as players return from stints in Japan, the United States and Europe to test themselves in the Super Rugby Pacific environment.
NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said:
“It’s always an exciting time of the year to see the Super Rugby Pacific squads released, especially with all 12 squads on the same day.
“For New Zealand Rugby, each Rugby World Cup cycle provides opportunity for new stars to emerge which makes 2024 the start of an exciting new chapter. It’s great to see the names of players who have earned their first full time contract, we know how hard those players have worked to get there.”
Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh said:
“With the squads now revealed, there is no doubt the Super Rugby Pacific competition will continue to showcase the greatest rugby talent from across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Whether it’s a rookie striving to put their name up in lights, or an experienced campaigner looking to make a mark at a new club, these squads promise so many potential storylines for the fans to get excited about.”
*International signings indicate players capped for a national team outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region.
Blues – for full squad click HERE
Key Gains: Angus Ta’avao (Chiefs), Laghlan McWhannell (Chiefs), Kade Banks (North Harbour), Cole Forbes (Glasgow Warriors - URC), PJ Sheck (Wellington), Josh Beehre (Auckland), James Thompson (Counties-Manukau), Lucas Cashmore (Bay of Plenty), Meihana Grindlay (Taranaki)
Gallagher Chiefs - for full squad click HERE
Key gains: Sione Ahio (Auckland), Jimmy Tupou (Japan), Wallace Sititi (North Harbour), Kaleb Trask (Japan), Kauvaka Kaivelata (Counties-Manukau), Malachi Wrampling-Alec (Waikato), Tom Florence (Taranaki/NOLA Gold - MLR), Daniel Rona (Taranaki), Liam Coombes-Fabling (Waikato)
Hurricanes - for full squad click HERE
Key Gains: Ben Grant (North Harbour/San Diego Legion - MLR), Brad Shields (Wellington), Richard Judd (Bay of Plenty/San Diego Legion – MLR), Siale Lauaki (Wellington), Josh Taula (Manawatū), Harry Godfrey (Hawke’s Bay)
Crusaders - for full squad click HERE
Key Gains: Jamie Hannah (Canterbury) Leigh Halfpenny (Welsh international), Ryan Crotty (Japan), Levi Aumua (Moana Pasifika), Tahlor Cahill (Canterbury), Jone Rova (Canterbury), Heremaia Murray (Northland), Ioane Moananu (Counties Manukau)
Highlanders – for full squad click HERE
Key Gains: Henry Bell (Otago), Jack Taylor (Southland), Mitch Dunshea (Crusaders), Tom Sanders (Japan), James Arscott (Otago), Rhys Patchell (Welsh international), Jake Te Hiwi (Otago), Timoci Tavatavanawai (Moana Pasifika), Oliver Haig (Otago), Hayden Michaels (Southland), Nathan Hastie (Otago), Ajay Faleafaga (Otago), Matt Whaanga (Southland)
Fijian Drua – for full squad click HERE
Key gains: Sailosi Vukalokalo (Fiji U20), Isikeli Rabitu (Suva Grammar School), Epeli Momo (Montauban - Rugby Pro D2 & Fiji U20), Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula (Manawatū & Fiji U20), Waqa Nalaga (Manawatū & Fiji U20)
Moana Pasifika – for full squad click HERE
Key gains: Aisea Halo (North Harbour), Irie Papuni (Western Sydney Two Blues, Shute Shield), Ofa Tauatevalu (Manawatū), Ola Tauelangi (NSW Waratahs), Otumaka Mausia (Auckland), Semisi Paea (Bay of Plenty), Tom Savage (Suntory Japan), Tomasi Maka (NSW Waratahs), Viliami Fine (Southland), Viliami Napa’a (Tasman), Sateki Latu (NSW Waratahs), Donald Brighouse (New England Freejacks), James Lay (Blues), Julian Savea (Hurricanes), Lalomilo Lalomilo (Bay of Plenty), Nigel Ah Wong (Bay of Plenty), Pepesana Patafilo (Crusaders), Sama Malolo (San Diego Legion - MLR), Sione Havili Talitui (Crusaders).