Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?



  • With the Mitre 10 Cup now near its conclusion, it is time to have a look at the possible SR rookies.

    Hookers :
    With Rhys Marshall gone, the Chiefs need a hooker. We have been talking about Faiva and Misa but what about a draft from another region ? Aumua is a very good prospect but won't be signed by the Hurricanes because the latter are already blessed with three excellent hookers (Coles, Riccitelli and Apisai). I also like the look of Smith, the North Harbour hooker. He doesn't make anything flashy but he is very strong in the tight.

    Props :
    Tuilamo can't be omitted. He was a star in the Mitre 10 Cup with his powerful runs.
    The Blues have three THP in their squad (Faumuina, Ofa T, Mafileo) so Tuilamo will probably look further south. At the Hurricanes ? Or at the Highlanders to replace Hohneck who is heading north ?
    Sefo Kautai could be included in a WTG as he is an outstanding prospect.

    Locks :
    Strange, Walker-Leawere, Cowley-Tuoti (sp. ?), Price, Rarasea, Parsons, McDuling are among the new names worth of mention. The first two are the most likely choices for a contract, at least in a WTG.

    Loose forwards :
    Iopu Iopu-Aso has impressed me with his bullocking runs. Joe Tupe was a standout figure in an underperforming team. Whetu Douglas has been very good too but I don't remember if he could still considered a rookie.

    Scrumhalves : ???

    1st Five Eights :
    If the Blues look for a goalkicker, they have Peter Breen in their region.
    Perofeta has already been signed so no need to talk more about him here.
    Fletcher Smith ? With Banks leaving, he could be useful.

    Midfield :
    Goodhue (not sure if he hadn't been signed before), J. Barrett (of course),
    Cardiff Vaega ?

    Wings :
    Sevu Reece
    Faingaanuku ?

    Full backs :
    Jonah Lowe, Jordan Trainor.

    Who else ?



  • Gerard Cowley-Tuioti was in the Blues squad this year, and has signed for 2017 too. His name might have been Tuioti-Mariner earlier though!

    Matt Vaega should get a full contract as a wing/mid-fielder, IMO. Michael Little might get picked up?

    Look out for Josh Kaifa too (loose forward).

    Trainor is in the Blues squad.



  • Jack Goodhue has already been signed by the Crusaders (was in their WTG last year)
    Jonah Lowe isn't a fullback; he plays either centre or wing (11 or 14).
    Wing: maybe Mason Emerson for a WTG spot



  • A few of those guys have already had their first contracts:

    Cardiff Vaega had a Super contract with the Canes back in 2014.

    Iopu Iopu-Aso has been with the Canes for the last two years.

    As already mentioned by Tim, Trainor and Cowley-Tuioti were already in the Blues team this year.



  • I think Dalton Papali'i will get a WTG with the Blues. It's either him or Kaifa for that third openside spot, but I just have a feeling it's going to be Papali'i.



  • Another who was contracted last year? I thought he got the nod over Karpik, but was held back in the U19 of dev squad?



  • @Tim said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    Another who was contracted last year? I thought he got the nod over Karpik, but was held back in the U19 of dev squad?

    Someone on here said Papali'i was signed ahead of Karpik, but when the team was named, Papali'i wasn't on the list at all. We then found out later that Karpik actually got offered a contract by the Blues, he just turned it down.



  • @Dice said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    @Tim said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    Another who was contracted last year? I thought he got the nod over Karpik, but was held back in the U19 of dev squad?

    Someone on here said Papali'i was signed ahead of Karpik, but when the team was named, Papali'i wasn't on the list at all. We then found out later that Karpik actually got offered a contract by the Blues, he just turned it down.

    Smart man!



  • @mooshld Yes he is. No chance of him getting ahead of Gibson and the better one of the Pryor brothers.



  • not a North Harbour fan,but the player that should get a contract with the Blues is Chris Vui,he has been an outstanding leader,and can play loose forward or lock,



  • @Dice said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    A few of those guys have already had their first contracts:

    Cardiff Vaega had a Super contract with the Canes back in 2014.

    And boy did he suffer from it.

    Complete rookie and young, was imported to Welly from being an academy player in Southland and it was the first year of new rules regarding player accommodation. Basically the Canes left him to fend for himself so his support network off the field was quite weak.

    Then, he gets his chance of a lifetime starting a Super game inside Conrad Smith only Conrad had just walked straight back into the team and was so busy trying to get up to speed himself he barely communicated with his inside centre all game. The Brumbies noticed the weak point before kick off and changed their lineup last minute targeting the 12 channel with hard angled runs. Poor kid's confidence must have been absolutely shot after that. He never got another chance (I blame Hammett).

    Luckily his dad and Tana are mates and they must have convinced him to come home and rebuild himself at CM.

    He has been a very solid performer this year. Must have played nearly every minute with a low error rate if not setting the excitement bells ringing.

    I can see a space for him at the Chiefs more than the Blues but T s the one that knows him best.



  • Oh, for Hookers try Gafatasi Su’a. He has been part of a strong CM scrum this year and is good around the field. Originally an Auckland player so could end up back there.

    I'm torn with Tana going to the Blues. He is netting up the promising players from CM which making me give them a bit of support. Oh well, I still have one NZ Super team I hate. 😉



  • @Stargazer said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    Jack Goodhue has already been signed by the Crusaders (was in their WTG last year)
    Jonah Lowe isn't a fullback; he plays either centre or wing (11 or 14).
    Wing: maybe Mason Emerson for a WTG spot

    Wasn't the Goodhue inclusion in the Saders WTG only because of someone else getting injured or something like that?

    He will likely debut in 2017 though.



  • Matt Matich would certainly be worthy of a super contract, but in the hotly contested loose forward space am not sure where he would fit in.



  • How about sevu Reece?



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    @Stargazer said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    Jack Goodhue has already been signed by the Crusaders (was in their WTG last year)
    Jonah Lowe isn't a fullback; he plays either centre or wing (11 or 14).
    Wing: maybe Mason Emerson for a WTG spot

    Wasn't the Goodhue inclusion in the Saders WTG only because of someone else getting injured or something like that?

    He will likely debut in 2017 though.

    No, he was injured himself for most of the 2016 season. It was a pretty serious knee injury that he picked up in the second round of the 2015 ITM Cup. He's been quite unlucky, because he was also out of action for a large part of the 2014 ITM Cup season due to concussion.



  • Sevu Reece has been a very solid and consistent performer for the Waikato rugby in this year's Mitre 10 cup. He is a utility player playing in the midfield as well as fullback for his champion Melville club in Waikato this year. The skillful 19 year old will definitely become a star in the near future!



  • @Steven-Harris Problem for Vui is that we're stacked in that position. Yes he's very good and wouldn't let us down, but where do we fit him in? Opting to play for Samoa suggests that he could be heading overseas as well.



  • @Crucial It was a rough debut, but to be fair to him, he was given a bit of a hospital pass. He actually wasn't meant to be in that Brumbies game, but someone got injured on game day and he got called up last minute in a position he didn't play much for Southland.

    I don't know if the Blues will pick him up, because we are pretty loaded with midfielders already, and even if we did pick up another midfielder, we might just pick up guys we already had this year in his brother and Little.

    @Whites72 said in Who will earn a first Super Rugby contract ?:

    How about sevu Reece?

    I think someone will pick him up because the potential is there. I actually thought the other Fijian winger for Waikato, Ratuva, has looked better than him, but I think that guy is already 26. If the Chiefs get their usual massive injury toll, Ratuva will be a nice depth guy out of the Dev team if he doesn't get signed by anyone.



  • @Stargazer
    Didn't Jonah Lowe start one or two games at FB this year ?


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