Bailyn Sullivan looks forward to fresh start with the Hurricanes

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He said it was good to be back in his home region – he's from Hawke's Bay - playing for the Hurricanes and following in the footsteps of players he enjoyed watching while growing up, Julian Savea and Conrad Smith.

 

He had been looking for a change of environment, and a call from the Hurricanes proved timely. He appreciated having learnt from the likes of Anton Lienert-Brown but felt it was time to strike out for more opportunities in another side.

 

"Opportunities did come [at the Chiefs], and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but I think it was about time I spread my wings a bit by going somewhere else.

 

"If you go anywhere in New Zealand, there is always going to be competition and coming here that is not going to change that as well, so I'm looking forward to it," he said.

 

His arrival comes on the back of scoring two tries in Waikato's win over Tasman in the Bunnings NPC final.

 

It was an amazing feeling, especially after all the team went through with Covid requirements forcing them to play away from Hamilton. That made winning all the better, he said.

 

"It was a booster playing like I did. I think I did have a good season. I don't have too many good seasons but this one I was really confident," he said.

 

 

Lock Justin Sangster has enjoyed a meteoric rise from his Tauranga base with Bay of Plenty. He has played only three games for the side and has been concentrating on university studies and working for Mainfreight in his spare time.

 

Those studies took him to Rowan University in New Jersey for the second half of his third year of study on an exchange where he played rugby while studying.

 

"It was an awesome experience, I would definitely go back if I had an opportunity again."

 

He started rugby late, spending his younger years in basketball, swimming and taekwondo, the latter helpful in developing fitness and flexibility. But getting into rugby alongside his mates had resulted in him concentrating on it more. He had four years playing for Varsity in Hamilton and three years in Tauranga.

 

Hurricanes assistant coach Chris Gibbes contacted him and had a chat about where he wanted to be, and things progressed from there.

 

"I couldn't really believe it when he rang me up, I was in shock," he said.

 

Absorbing the environment would be the first steps he would take with the side, just as it had been watching the Super Rugby players in the Bay of Plenty team.

 

He felt raising his physicality from club level to NPC had been a factor in his advance. That was what Gibbes liked about him and wanted to see more of in 2022, he said.

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