Auckland Mitre 10 Cup squad announced



  • Charlie Faumuina (Papatoetoe)
    Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Grammar TEC)
    Sam Prattley (Pakuranga)
    Marcel Renata (University)
    Tom McHugh (Grammar TEC)
    Isi Tu’ungafasi (Grammar TEC)
    James Lay (Pakuranga)
    Greg Pleasants-Tate (Ponsonby)
    Kurt Eklund (University)
    Patrick Tuipulotu (Ponsonby)
    Scott Scrafton (Grammar TEC)
    Michael Fatialofa (Ponsonby)
    Liaki Moli (Manukau Rovers)
    Ben Nee Nee (Pakuranga)
    Jerome Kaino (University)
    Steven Luatua (University)
    Taleni Seu (Grammar TEC)
    Siosiua (Josh) Kaifa (Manukau Rovers)
    Blake Gibson (Ponsonby)
    Sinclair Dominikovich-Murray (University)
    Joe Edwards (Pakuranga)
    Akira Ioane (Ponsonby)
    Leon Fukofuka (Marist)
    Jono Hickey (Grammar TEC)
    Simon Hickey (Grammar TEC) – captain
    Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald (University)
    Calvary Fonoti (Manukau Rovers)
    Latiume Fosita (Papatoetoe)
    George Moala (Grammar TEC)
    Malakai Fekitoa (Pakuranga)
    Vince Aso (Ponsonby)
    Rieko Ioane (Ponsonby)
    Pasqualle Dunn (College Rifles)
    Liam Steel (University)
    Joe Ravouvou (College Rifles)
    Lolagi Visinia (Suburbs)
    Melani Nanai (Manukau Rovers)
     
    Unavailable due to injury: Ben Lam, TJ Faiane, Lisati Milo-Harris
     
    http://aucklandrugby.co.nz/News/2016-7-18/Mitre-10-Cup-squad-announced-for-2016.aspx



  • Fekitoa wasn't in the squad last year, right?



  • What happened to that young no. 10? Vagana's son? Included in the Blues training setup but not Auckland - I wonder if he has been picked up by another union.
     
    You just knew Hickey was going to be named Captain - urgh.



  • Magpies, what's Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald like at 10?



  • Also, what's up with Dalton Papalii missing the squad? He was the Blues Development Team player of the year.



  • Only two halfbacks. Will Simon Hickey cover until Lisati Milo-Harris returns from injury?



  • Only two halfbacks. Will Simon Hickey cover until Lisati Milo-Harris returns from injury?

    I would assume that Dwayne Polataivao would be the 3rd halfback as he got a run for us last season.
     
    Interesting to see Fosita there. We're a bit light in the midfield so could we see him and Aso make up the midfield?
     
    Does anyone know if the sevens players will take part this season?



  • gee I'd love to get Marcel Renata back up here!



  • Also, what's up with Dalton Papalii missing the squad? He was the Blues Development Team player of the year.

    Papalii looks a real prospect. Could it be a case that squads are restricted to certain sizes and ABs have to be named. Could he make it with Kaino being with the ABs?



  • I would assume that Dwayne Polataivao would be the 3rd halfback as he got a run for us last season.
     
    Interesting to see Fosita there. We're a bit light in the midfield so could we see him and Aso make up the midfield?
     
    Does anyone know if the sevens players will take part this season?

    I'd assume so.
     
    At least Fukofuka will be a big step up for us at halfback.



  • I would assume that Dwayne Polataivao would be the 3rd halfback as he got a run for us last season.
     
    Interesting to see Fosita there. We're a bit light in the midfield so could we see him and Aso make up the midfield?
     
    Does anyone know if the sevens players will take part this season?

    Didnt even notice his name there, had heard Fosita was sniffing about up this way again recently...he has played 10, 14 and 15 for us, dont think he played mid-field. Probably a much better player from his time for Tonga but he was more a reliable player than anything else and not really quick enough for the wing or FB either.



  • I'll take a guess at the starting line-up:
     
    Prattley
    Pleasants-Tate
    Renata/I. Tu’ungafasi (quite tough if both Faumuina and O. Tu’ungafasi are out with the ABs)
    Scrafton
    Fatialofa
    Edwards
    Gibson
    A. Ioane
     
    Fukofuka
    S. Hickey
    Visinia
    Aso
    R. Iaone
    ?
    Nanai



  • Magpies, what's Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald like at 10?

    Tim, he's a good goalkicker. He is, or was at one point, the leading points scorer in the Auckland comp this year?
     
    If Blues supporters felt Ihaia West did not challenge the opposition defensive line enough (particularly in the first half of this year's S18) then I feel Auckland supporters will express the same comments about Elkington-MacDonald.
     
    My observation of him in both club and rep play in Hawke's Bay last year was he is more of a pass and kick first-five rather than a first-five who takes the ball to the opposition line. He is certainly not as quick as West.
     
    Having said that, not being in Auckland I haven't seen him play in Auckland this year, so he may well be running more.



  • Tim, he's a good goalkicker. He is, or was at one point, the leading points scorer in the Auckland comp this year?
     
    If Blues supporters felt Ihaia West did not challenge the opposition defensive line enough (particularly in the first half of this year's S18) then I feel Auckland supporters will express the same comments about Elkington-MacDonald.
     
    My observation of him in both club and rep play in Hawke's Bay last year was he is more of a pass and kick first-five rather than a first-five who takes the ball to the opposition line. He is certainly not as quick as West.
     
    Having said that, not being in Auckland I haven't seen him play in Auckland this year, so he may well be running more.

    Cheers. Apparently he is still the leading point scorer in club rugby.



  • Didnt even notice his name there, had heard Fosita was sniffing about up this way again recently...he has played 10, 14 and 15 for us, dont think he played mid-field. Probably a much better player from his time for Tonga but he was more a reliable player than anything else and not really quick enough for the wing or FB either.

    Yeah I'm only going off the fact that he's played at 12 for most of the year for Papatoetoe in the Auckland comp.



  • he seems pretty versatile, and while not quick enough for an outside back, he was pretty solid when he last played for us, but as above, expect he has improved hugely with Tonga.



  • Magpies, what's Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald like at 10?

    Played a couple of years of club rugby down here (think he may have played senior rugby aged 17) cool head and a great boot.
    Very good touch player too apparently so has the skills.



  • Pasqualle Dunn has had an interesting career. Looks like he was in the Auckland Colts last year, and prior to that played league at outside centre for Doncaster, and the year before was in Leicester Tigers' development squad. Looks like he plays 12 and 13 for College Rifles.
     
    http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2013/12/interview-with-us-eligible-leicester.html
     
    http://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/sport/local-sport/doncaster-rlfc-dons-sign-pasqualle-dunn-and-danny-cowling-1-6880607



  • Any 10 trying to make it at Auckland is wasting their time unfortunately with Simon Hickey there and to make it worse, the guy is still bloody captain. Surely Bordeaux can ban him from playing down here.



  • Good team overall. With Gibson and Luatua(if not in the ABs) back, plus a number of forwards coming back with Super Rugby experience, I think our pack should be a fair bit better than last year's. However, the backline depth doesn't look that great.
     
    Surprised to see no Will Talataina-Mu. The U21 and B teams should be named soon, so if he's not in there, then he's likely gone elsewhere.
     
    Good to see Josh Kaifa in the team. He's a very aggressive player and covers all the backrow positions.