Exodus 2019

  • I think I have beaten Stargazer and Jauzy19 to this somewhat obscure one. Leon Fukokuka has signed for Ampthill RFC who play in the Green King IPA Championship in England.


    Leon comments “I’m excited to be joining Ampthill and playing in England. I have heard lots about the club and hope to help them achieve further success in the future”

    This has got to be pure PR claptrap if ever I heard any!!!!

    For those equally excited 7th placed Ampthill RFC are currently down 07 - 12 at home to the might of 5th placed Jersey after about quarter of an hour.

    Other possible recognisable players on Ampthill's roster include Soane Tongaʻuiha (who propped a few times for Auckland way back in the early 2000s) and Aleki Lutui (who once hooked for BoP and the Chiefs also way back in the early 2000s). The also have Maama Molitka (who played about 15 Tests for Tonga back in the late 1990s/early 2000s running around at No 8 for them). Looks like they could field a formidable Pressies Grade team when the first team has a bye!
    And in the meantime whilst I have been assembling the above titillating information it's nearly half time and Jersey have increased their lead to nineteen ten.

  • @Higgins You definitely beat me with that one! Never heard of that club.

  • @Stargazer Neither had I. Ahhhh the things you do when you can't seep!

  • @Higgins Not watching the Barbarians' game?

  • No, I ditched Sky at the end of the NPC. There are other ways to view European games that do not require a Sky Subscription.......................

  • @Higgins That's disappointing. He was good for Auckland last year. Good box kick, solid skills. Better than Ruru. Should never have played for Tonga as a young Crusader!

  • @Stargazer said in Exodus 2019:

    @Number-10 said in Exodus 2019:

    Was he snubbed?

    Is it definite that he was not offered a contract by the Hurricanes,

    It seems the only logic explanation. Why would a 20-year old NZ rugby player refuse a full Super Rugby contract? (Development contracts may not pay enough if you have financial responsibilities.)

    or was not going to be offered one?

    Do they have to buy a crystal ball to know that, or do you prefer a clairvoyant?

    Is it definite that the Japanese contract did not come first, before any approach from the Hurricanes?

    Most new players for the Japanese clubs were announced before the RWC. Preseason in Japan has been underway for a few weeks already. So it's reasonable to assume that they're now picking up the leftovers ...

    But if you have inside knowledge that indicates that McClutchie refused a full SR contract to go to Japan, or that a NZ franchise made an offer after he accepted the Japanese contract, please, do tell ...

    Edited to add that as long as there is no complete openess about why certain players were not included in the announced SR squads, you can expect speculation about players being snubbed until the facts are known. I'd love to know the facts! Unfortunately, we have to wait until a journalist asks the right questions, gets clear answers and writes them down in an article on the Stuff or NZH website.

    I haven't said he was snubbed - but out of the two of us, one of us did.

    I have to prove he wasn't snubbed but you don't have to prove he was snubbed - do you like experimenting with irony?

    I don't know if he was or wasn't snubbed.

    But It can't happen very often that a supposed "second-best" option (Japan) offers you more money.

  • @Number-10 said in Exodus 2019:

    But It can't happen very often that a supposed "second-best" option (Japan) offers you more money.

    The second best option is very subjective. Just look at the Honey Badger situation where he took up a Japanese contract simply because he saw it as a way to get his mitts on a large pile of cash needed to fund a family member's medical treatment. The "best-option" for that situation but the HB did say at the time that he was reluctantly leaving his Super Rugby team. He was assured of continued Super selection but what of the player in the 50/50 situation of being given a Super Contract.
    Do they take a decent overseas offer or wait on the off chance they be awarded a Super contract? I know of a player that had played about two thirds of an NPC season that really wanted to play super rugby after having trained with a team as an injury replacement. A contract did not come so he signed to play overseas with a base salary of almost three times the existing super contract (and that did not include selection, win/loss, accommodation, air travel and car payments). He did not want to go but had to as NPC payments did not pay all his bills whilst still allowing him to train full time.

  • A few more Major League (re-)signings:

    Tayler Adams (halfback from Auckland, who last played for Southland in 2018 and played two games for the Rebels in 2019) has signed with the Toronto Arrows.

    Brad Tucker (former Manawatu Turbo) has re-signed with the Seattle Seawolves.

    Not part of the exodus, but interesting to discover that a brother of Loni Uhila was in the 2019 Utah Warriors squad.
    Also quite a few NZ born and/or raised players that moved elsewhere at an early age, before ending up at this or other MLR clubs.

  • Kane Thompson is still playing there at 37 (New Orleans).

  • @Stargazer quite a few guys from Hamilton that had made Waikato and Chiefs age group teams I saw on the roster for Utah Warriors...

  • @Steven-Harris The LDS connection could be part of that. I do remember Logan Daniels name. I see Tim O'Malley is their captain.

  • @Bovidae I was a little curious about what sort of salaries these guys are on, I can remember talking to the father of Kurt Morath (former Tongan international first five )who played for the San Diego Breakers back in 2016..at the time he was on around 30k and I could recall his father saying , if major rugby gained traction as a competition and if a television network picked it up it would naturally rate because of not only having a growing rugby public but because of the interest in and around 7s being part of the Olympics ..apparently the figures for the first game shown on CBS last year worked to around 500,000 which is not to bad , you only need a little slice of the pie I guess.
    I am hearing salaries are increasing each year, from what I do know talking to a couple of players that have headed over..it more than compensates for not getting a super contract ..

  • @Stargazer said in Exodus 2019:

    The Colorado Raptors (MLR), coached by Peter Borlase, have signed several Kiwis:

    Rene Ranger (Northland)
    Mason Emerson (Hawke's Bay)
    Michael Curry (Tasman)
    Michael Stewart (Southland)
    Samuel Slade (Counties Manukau)

    Also signed:
    Digby Ioane


    The round robin of the MLR is from 8 February to 31 May 2020.

    It the weather is not too cold I'll go along and watch them
    They also stream these games live off their website if anyone was bored enough to watch.

  • Sam Malcolm (Manawatu Turbos) has re-signed with the Toronto Arrows. He also played there last MLR season.

    Morgan Mitchell (Southland), who played for the Toronto Arrows last season as well, has signed with the Kamaishi Seawaves, who play in the Japanese 2nd tier Top Challenge League.

  • Confirmed:

    Marty McKenzie has signed with Ospreys.

    Only until the end of the season, as injury cover for Gareth Anscombe.


  • @Stargazer When did Anscombe move from Cardiff?

  • @Bovidae He signed with Ospreys in April 2019, so this is his first season with Ospreys.


  • @Stargazer said in Exodus 2019:


    Marty McKenzie has signed with Ospreys.

    Only until the end of the season, as injury cover for Gareth Anscombe.


    What has happened to the glory days where Wales always had really good first fives? Marty McKenzie may have been struggling to get a game in reserve grade back then.

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