Canterbury’s NPC squad announced for 2022 season

Canterbury’s NPC squad announced for 2022 season

New Zealand Under 20 representatives George Bell, Seb Calder and Joel Lam are the three newcomers to Canterbury’s Bunnings Warehouse NPC squad. 

Lam (Burnside) will get the opportunity to learn from experienced halfback pair Willi Heinz and Mitchell Drummond, while Bell and Calder have the chance to serve their apprenticeships under Oli Jager and Brodie McAlister. 

Superb club form has seen first five eight Alex Harford (HSOB) and loose forward Liam Allen (Lincoln University) both rewarded with full time contracts for the first time. So too for loose forwards Dominic Gardiner and Corey Kellow, who made the most of their Super Rugby seasons with the Crusaders. 

Manasa Mataele is set to bring the same excitement he’s brought to Fiji during their recent Pacific Nations Cup campaign, linking up with Chay Fihaki and Bridge to form a potent back three. 

Tom Christie returns to the NPC after a season out with a shoulder injury, joining Cullen Grace, who has also been in career-best form during Super Rugby, Billy Harmon, Reed Prinsep, Gardiner, Kellow and Allen in the loose forwards. 

Youngster Zach Gallagher will partner with fellow former Christ’s College captain Sam Darry in the second row, with veteran Luke Romano and Mitchell Dunshea (currently injured) to provide leadership to the younger pair. 

A Crusaders laden front row highlights the lower numbers with Fletcher Newell, Oli Jager, Tamaiti Williams, Finlay Brewis, Brodie McAlister and Shilo Klien linking up with Highlander’s loosehead Daniel Lienert-Brown. 

NPC Squad for 2022:

Liam Allen - Lincoln University 

George Bell - Lincoln University 

Finlay Brewis - HSOB

George Bridge - HSOB

Fergus Burke - University of Canterbury 

Seb Calder - Lincoln University 

Tom Christie - Christchurch

Sam Darry - HSOB

Mitchell Drummond - HSOB

Mitchell Dunshea - Springston 

Braydon Ennor - University of Canterbury 

Chay Fihaki - Burnside

Zach Gallagher - Burnside

Dominic Gardiner - Marist Albion

Cullen Grace - Lincoln University 

Alex Harford - HSOB

Billy Harmon - New Brighton

Willi Heinz - Linwood 

Oliver Jager - New Brighton 

Corey Kellow - Lincoln University 

Shilo Klein - HSOB

Joel Lam - Burnside

Daniel Lienert-Brown - HSOB

Manasa Mataele - Marist Albion

Brodie McAlister - Sydenham

Dallas McLeod - Christchurch

Richie Mo'unga - Linwood 

Joe Moody - Lincoln 

Fletcher Newell - Lincoln University 

Rameka Poihipi - Lincoln University 

Reed Prinsep - HSOB

Isaiah Punivai - Burnside

Ngatungane Punivai - Prebbleton

Luke Romano - Hurunui

Codie Taylor - Sydenham

Samuel Whitelock - Lincoln University 

Tamaiti Williams - Burnside

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