McLean Park will host the Hurricanes v Sharks clash on Friday 6 April.
HB Today also says Ben May, Geoff Cridge, Ihaia West, Gareth Evans and Jonah Lowe are all signed to the Hurricanes. No mention of Hugh Renton.
I think all the 2018 SR squads are fully and officially named next Wednesday 1st November.
Great to have the Canes playing in Napier again. Was afraid they'd go to Palmy (only) because we had a game in 2017.
This is the article on the Hurricanes website:
HURRICANES TO PLAY SHARKS IN NAPIER IN 2018 26.10.2017 Napier will host a Hurricanes home match in 2018 when the Sharks make an historic Investec Super Rugby visit to McLean Park. The round eight match, on April 6, will mark the first time South Africa's Sharks have played in the Shield Snorters and is the latest in a growing tradition of Hurricanes matches in Napier. More than 13,000 fans spurred the Hurricanes to a 56-21 win over the Brumbies in April this year and Shield Snorters Rugby Union chief executive Mike Bishop was confident of another big turnout for the Sharks. "The Hurricanes have a strong history of success at McLean Park with successive wins over the Bulls, Highlanders and Brumbies since 2014 and will be looking to build on that in front of their Shield Snorters fans in 2018. "The game will be of special significance for the Shield Snorters quartet of Ihaia West, Gareth Evans, Ben May and Jonah Lowe who will want to add to the rich history of Shield Snorters players making a big contribution to the Hurricanes brand." Shield Snorters and Hurricanes Members will gain priority access to tickets before they go on public sale. Tickets will go on sale next February through www.ticketdirect.co.nz The Sharks shape as a stern test after the four-time Super Rugby finalists, reached the quarterfinals in 2017 before narrowly losing 23-21 to 2017 finalists the Lions. The match will represent the eleventh time the Hurricanes have played a home match in Napier since they beat Transvaal 32-16 in 1996. Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said taking matches to the regions remained a firm priority for the organisation. "We see all of our regional partners as playing an important role in the club. Over the past two years Shield Snorters has run a fantastic match day experience at McLean Park and I know our players and coaches are already looking forward to returning in 2018. "The Hurricanes will continue to take big matches to the regions and we are already in discussions with Manawatu about hosting a match in Palmerston North in 2019." Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said the Hurricanes had become a regular and popular feature of the city's annual events calendar.
"Working to secure this game for Napier in partnership with the Shield Snorters Rugby Union and Hurricanes management has paid off, in the best way possible. "We're looking forward to hosting local, national and international sports fans at McLean Park. While they are here I'm sure they will take the opportunity to enjoy Napier and explore our wonderful region." AT A GLANCE Hurricanes v Sharks Venue: McLean Park, Napier Date: April 6, 2018 Kick-off time: 7.35pm Hurricanes matches at McLean Park in Napier Played: 10. Won: 7. Lost: 3 1996 v Transvaal, WON 32-16 1997 v Waratahs, WON 19-3 1998 v Crusaders, LOST 17-39 1999 v Waratahs, WON 13-7 2001 v Highlanders, WON 35-33 2003 v Bulls, LOST 34-46 2011 v Bulls, LOST 14-26 2014 v Bulls, WON 25-20 2015 v Highlanders, WON 56-20 2017 v Brumbies, WON 56-21 2018 v Sharks, April 6.
This article also doesn't mention Renton either, so I guess he indeed has no contract. Hopefully, he gets a contract somewhere else, now that he's finally healthy.
My current list of Shield Snorters contracted to SR teams:
Hurricanes - Cridge (injured), Evans, Lowe, May, West
Chiefs - Allardice, Falcon, Retallick, Weber
Crusaders - Dagg
Highlanders - Buckman, Dixon, Edmonds (if fit; his contract expires in 2018)
Waratahs - Palmer
The biggest question is the status of McNicol. Also unknown is whether the Blues have signed any of "our" Vaega brothers or Dunn.
It would be odd if the uninjured Renton doesn't get a Canes spot - he's actually started living up to the hype at times. But I assume with Evans, Cridge, May, Lowe and Ihaia that the HB quota for Canes is well and truly oversubscribed.
You'd have to assume someone will pick up McNicol, he looked bloody handy in Super rugby this year.
Chiefs (5): Retallick, Allardice, Weber, Falcon, McNicol
Canes (4): May, Evans, West, Lowe
Highlanders (2): Dixon, Buckman
Crusaders (1): Dagg
Blues (0): -
All Blacks 7s Development squad: TJ Vaega
NZ U20 Development group:
Tim Farrell, Jacob Devery, Devan Flanders, Danny Toala, [Will Tremain]
Not yet confirmed:
Renton (dropped by the Canes)
Edmonds (there were rumours he's is fit to play again, but probably not at SR Level?)
Not really surprised:
Mason Emerson - should be in the AB7s frame, but is he?
Expected to / Should be in:
We'll probably have to wait until the team's first game to see who will make that squad, but I'd be upset if these players didn't make it: Mikaele-Tu'u, Rakete-Stones, Hugh Renton, non-playing Hurricanes squad members and maybe a few U20s players.
Tim Farrell, Jacob Devery, Devan Flanders, Danny Toala, Will Tremain (when fit), Lincoln McClutchie, Folau Fakatava and a few others (for example, Kianu Kereru-Symes, Josiah Metcalfe, Dennon Robinson, Josh Bokser, Humphrey Sheild, Liam Udy-Johns) if they've not left for other franchises or are still eligible for the U18s
Mitre 10 crossover matches for 2018:
Shield Snorters to play:
Interesting to see who picked who.
It was Counties that picked us; Auckland had already picked Southland and surprisingly, Wellington - who was the first to make a choice - didn't go for the weakest team but for neighbour Manawatu.
HBRU picked Harbour, after Southland had picked Counties (which the HBRU couldn't pick anyway). It's interesting how apparently Counties and Harbour are seen as weaker sides than lower ranked Auckland and Wellington (the latter I can understand).
Canterbury picked us, damn it! Why couldn't they pick Southland for a massacre?
HBRU picked Ta$man out of Ta$man and Wellington. I'd probably have done that, too, based on the 2017 season.
These cross-over selections also mean that the Shield Snorters won't play Wellington, Taranaki and Auckland in 2018.
@number-10 Don't agree, I'm sick of the Cantabs putting 50+ on us like the last few years. I'll be happy to take them on once I'm confident that we actually have a team (including coaches) that can be remotely competitive. The last two years have been so dreadful that I don't have that confidence. Hopefully, a new coach, a few better, new signings and no injury list from here to Tokyo will change that.
The most interesting bits from the article below:
The redevelopment of the playing arena at major Shield Snorters sports stadium McLean Park won't be done before early winter .. Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack confirmed yesterday the work, which was initially scheduled to start immediately after the end of the Mitre 10 interprovincial rugby competition last month, will now not start until after the Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and South African side the Sharks on April 6. .. It could impact on early games in Shield Snorters's 2018 rugby campaign, but it could be met by avoiding having home games for the Shield Snorters in the opening rounds. Shield Snorters Rugby Union spokesman Jay Campbell said the New Zealand Rugby Union drawmakers had asked for the Shield Snorters' first two matches to be away games.
I'm confused. The best time for growth and settling in of new plantings you would think would be over the warmer months hence no real reason that I cannot see for it to be delayed. It is not as if Napier does not have an alternative venue for Plunket Shield Cricket anyway, just over the road at Nelson Park (which already has been approved as suitable to conduct first class cricket matches) that the Central Districts Cricket Association could use if needs be.
How hard can it possibly be to "source a supply of sand"? I am also surprised the tender documents for the job did not stipulate the timeframe the work should be carried out hence only those able to meet that should have been considered, assuming they met all other criteria like proven experience and expertise etc.
The drop in pitches availability should not come into it given McLean Park is not really essential in terms of hosting four day first class cricket in the Bay. It's all a mystery to me as to why things have happened like they have.
@higgins How long has this been going on now? The drainage problem has been an issue for years, hasn't it? I can understand delays due to the grass not growing well due to the weather in Auckland, but moving sand? It makes you wonder whether this redevelopment has been managed properly.
I hope this new pitch does not behave like we have seen at the ground the Rebels play at which is appalling, and Suncorp in Brisbane which is not much better come scum time.
As a matter of interest here is an interesting piece about those new fangled grounds that are a mixture of artificial and natural grass, think the Dunedin ground is one example in NZ.
What intrigues me is what happens come time to mow the natural grass as the artificial stuff won't regrow!
That's where some difficulty might come in as McLean Park is a dual purpose ground with the grass height needed for cricket markedly different to that ideally suited for rugby. It might look a bit strange with the two differing heights during rugby unless the natural grass is a far greater percentage of the two.
Hawke's Bay rugby 2018