Magpies Head Coach Mark Ozich has named a strong squad to compete in this year’s Mitre 10 Cup. Along with his assistant Josh Syms, Ozich believes he has assembled his most competitive squad since taking over 18 months ago with no fewer than 16 players having experienced super rugby.
“The squad has plenty of proven quality blended with a number of highly promising and talented youngsters and they are all extremely excited about representing their province in this year’s Mitre 10 Cup’’ Magpies Head Coach, Mark Ozich said today.
Ozich said ‘’As emphasised by the squad we have assembled, we have plenty of talent and depth to select from and we are looking forward to building on the momentum from last season with our goal to win the Championship’’
Twenty Five of the 39 players named formed part of last year’s Magpies squad meaning they will not lack of experience playing at this level. While Ozich is not expecting to see any game time from prospective world cup bound All Blacks Brodie Retallick and Brad Weber all other players are available for some part of the 2019 campaign. Earlier in the year chiefs pivot Tiaan Falcon was ruled out with a torn Achilles injury suffered in Chiefs preseason while Will Tremain requires 6 months rehabilitation after requiring shoulder surgery.
A feature of this year’s side is the number of players who have earnt themselves selection on the back of solid performances in club rugby. Hawke’s Bay Rugby Chief Executive Jay Campbell said ‘’This year’s squad includes representatives across all 10 premier clubs while all but one (Isiah Walker-Leaware) have played club rugby in Hawke’s Bay either this year or previously. This continues our strategy to select those from within Hawke’s Bay club rugby and developing and promoting our own talent’’
The Magpies play Manawatu in Palmerston on Sunday for the Kel Tremain Memorial Trophy before returning for their first home game of the season against the Wellington Lions on McLean Park on Friday 16th August.
2019 Magpies Full Squad is:
Winger/ Mid Field