The Hurricanes have today named their 38-man squad for the 2023 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season.
While the core of the squad is maintained from 2022, five new signs have been named, with four players in line to make their Hurricanes debut when the competition kicks off on February 25.
Waikato outside Dan Sinkinson, Taranaki’s Kini Naholo and Manawatū’s Brett Cameron join the club for the first time, and Wellington up and comers, Riley Higgins and Peter Lakai sign their first professional Super Rugby contracts with the Hurricanes.
“We’re excited about our two new outside backs, Dan Sinkinson and Kini Naholo,” said Holland.
“There is plenty of competition among our outside backs, and both Kini and Sinkinson will come in and challenge for a spot straight away, which is exciting for us as a coaching group.
“Kini, he’s been involved in Super Rugby for a while now. He can finish, and is a powerful young talent, so we think he’s a solid new addition.
“Sinkinson played for Waikato in the NPC. He has all the attributes we are looking for, like what we saw in [Josh] Moorby this time last year. He works hard, he’s strong, and we think he is going to fit the way we play, so we’re looking forward to getting him into a full-time professional environment and seeing what he can do,” said Holland.
Former Crusaders First Five Brett Cameron links up with the Hurricanes following a season with the Manawatū Turbos, and a stint with Japanese club Kamaishi Seawaves.
"He is a talented player with a great skill set, a good kicker, and punts well, but he is also a real threat at the line. He is an athlete who makes really good decisions.
Graduating from the club’s development ranks – St Pats Silverstream Alumni, Riley Higgins and Peter Lakai join the full squad for the first time, having spent the 2022 season with the side on National Development Contracts. Both have enjoyed standout rookie seasons with the Wellington side, both starting in Saturday’s NPC final win against Canterbury.
Whilst Lakai is yet to make his Hurricanes debut, 20-year-old Higgins joined the Hurricanes squad in 2022 as injury cover, debuting off the bench against the Fijian Drua in Wellington. With his Super Rugby debut coming before he made his provincial bow, for Wellington.
“I’m excited about our first year Hurricanes. We’ve got Peter and Riley coming onboard, both of whom have been dominant in the NPC this season and will be great to see where they can get to in their first full year at Super level,” said Holland.
The Hurricanes will have plenty of experience to call upon, with All Blacks Ardie Savea, Dane Coles, Tyrel Lomax, Asafo Aumua, Jordie Barrett and All Black XV’s TJ Perenara, Cam Roigard, Bailyn Sullivan and Ruben Love who will return to the capital following their respective tours.
“We are excited about the calibre of people we have in this squad. We’ve got five current All Blacks and four All Black XVs returning home to help lead the team, guys with a massive work ethic, as well as some standout players from the Bunnings NPC, including a group of Wellington players who took out the NPC title.
“Overall, we’re excited about this group. We think we’ve got a good balance of experience, alongside some youngsters who have some solid provincial experience and a big group of guys who are second and third-year Super Rugby players.
“We look forward to putting on some performances that we can be proud of, and our fans can enjoy. We can’t wait to kick off this next season of Super Rugby Pacific,” said Holland.
The 2023 squad will officially assemble on November 24, leaving them around 13 weeks to prepare for the first pre-season fixture against the Blues in Auckland on February 11, 2023. The Hurricanes opening game of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season is against the Queensland Reds in Queensland on February 25.
The 2022 Hurricanes squad is:
Owen Franks – Canterbury
Tyrel Lomax – Tasman
Tevita Mafileo – Bay of Plenty
Xavier Numia – Wellington
Pouri Rakete-Stones – Hawkes Bay
Pasilio Tosi – Bay of Plenty
Asafo Aumua – Wellington
Dane Coles – Wellington
Jacob Devery – Hawke’s Bay
Dominic Bird – Wellington
James Blackwell – Wellington
Caleb Delany – Wellington
Justin Sangster – Bay of Plenty
Isaia Walker-Leawere – Hawke's Bay
Devan Flanders – Hawkes Bay
Tekamaka Howden – Manawatū
Brayden Iose – Manawatū
Du’Plessis Kirifi – Wellington
Peter Lakai* – Wellington
Tyler Laubscher – Manawatū
Reed Prinsep – Canterbury
Ardie Savea – Wellington
Jamie Booth – North Harbour
Brett Cameron* – Manawatū
TJ Perenara – Wellington
Aidan Morgan – Wellington
Cam Roigard – Counties Manukau
Riley Higgins* – Wellington
Billy Proctor – Wellington
Bailyn Sullivan – Waikato
Peter Umaga-Jensen – Wellington
Jordie Barrett – Taranaki
Ruben Love – Wellington
Joshua Moorby – Northland
Kini Naholo* – Taranaki
Salesi Rayasi – Auckland
Julian Savea – Wellington
Dan Sinkinson* – Waikato
*New contracted Hurricanes
THE HURRICANES FULL SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC DRAW: (ALL TIMES NZT)
RD1: Reds v Hurricanes, Saturday 25 February, Queensland, 9:45PM
RD2: Rebels v Hurricanes, Friday 3 March, Melbourne, 10:10PM
RD3: Hurricanes v Blues, Saturday 11 March, Wellington, 7:05PM
RD4: Hurricanes v Waratahs, Friday 17 March, Wellington, 7:05PM
RD5: Moana Pasifika v Hurricanes, Saturday 25 March, Auckland, 7:05PM
RD6: Hurricanes v Force, Sunday 2 April, CET Arena, Palmerston North, 3:35PM
RD7: Highlanders v Hurricanes, Saturday 8 April, Dunedin, 7:05PM
RD8: Hurricanes v Chiefs, Saturday 15 April, Wellington, 7:05PM
RD10: Hurricanes v Brumbies, Friday 28 April, Wellington, 7:05PM
RD11: Fijian Drua v Hurricanes, Saturday 6 May, Suva, 2:05PM
RD12: Hurricanes v Moana Pasifika, Saturday 13 May, Wellington, 4:35PM
RD13: Chiefs v Hurricanes, Saturday 20 May, Hamilton, 7:05PM
RD14: Blues v Hurricanes, Saturday 27 May, Auckland, 7:05PM
RD15: Hurricanes v Crusaders, Saturday 3 June, Wellington, 7:05PM