Waikato has announced their 31-man Mitre 10 Cup squad for the upcoming 2020 season, with this year’s squad to be captained by loose forward Luke Jacobson.
The team has already announced the return of Liam Messam, and the new signings of Patrick Osborne and Adam Thomson. But the bulk of the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup squad return for 2020 with 20 out of the 31 players having played last season.
Joining Messam as a returning player is hooker, Steven Misa, who returns to the province for the first time since 2016 to add to his 11 caps.
On top of the new signings of Thomson and Osborne, there are five new faces. These players that will have a chance to play their first cap for the province include Fraser Tech duo of George Dyer and Liam Coombes-Fabling, Otorohanga halfback, Cortez Ratima and Hamilton Old Boys duo of Xavier Roe and Gideon Wrampling.
Roe returns home and gets his chance to earn his first Waikato cap after playing the last two seasons for Taranaki.
This seasons squad features two current All Blacks, sixteen Super Rugby players, two former All Blacks and one Fijian International.
All Blacks Anton Lienert-Brown and Damian McKenzie will get a chance to add to their provincial caps, due to the global pandemic restricting international fixtures.
Season ending injuries to players Solomon Alaimalo, Sam Cooper, Laghlan McWhannell and James Tucker, means they will play no part in this year’s campaign.
Waikato's 2020 Mitre 10 Cup begins this Saturday (September 12) against Wellington at FMG Stadium Waikato, kick-off 2.05pm.
FMG Stadium Waikato will play hosts to a double header with the University of Waikato: Waikato Women playing the first game of the day against Taranaki Whio, with that games kick-off scheduled for 11.30am.
Due to COVID restrictions there will be no public sales for this weekend matches. However you will be able to catch both of these games live on Sky Sports.
2020 Waikato Mitre 10 Cup Squad
Hamilton Burr (7) Hautapu
Rob Cobb (5) Hamilton Old Boys
George Dyer (*) Fraser Tech
Samipeni Finau (5) Hamilton Old Boys
Josh Iosefa-Scott (30) Melville
Luke Jacobson (11) Hautapu
Mitch Jacobson (46) Hautapu
Ayden Johnstone (23) Hautapu
Sosefo Kautai (31) Hamilton Marist
Sekope Lopeti-Moli (13) Hautapu
Liam Messam (85) Raglan
Steven Misa (11) Hamilton Marist
Ollie Norris (10) Hautapu
Simon Parker (6) Hautapu
Samisoni Taukei’aho (33) Fraser Tech
James Thompson (2) Hautapu
Adam Thomson (*) Morrrinsville Sports
Liam Coombes-Fabling (*) Fraser Tech
Matty Lansdown (27) Fraser Tech
Anton Lienert-Brown (19) University
Damian McKenzie (24) University
Patrick Osborne (*) Fraser Tech
Cortez Ratima (*) Otorohanga
Rivez Reihana (9) Melville
Xavier Roe (*) Hamilton Old Boys
Louis Rogers (6) University
Fletcher Smith (22) University
Bailyn Sullivan (26) Hamilton Marist
Valynce Te Whare (3) Fraser Tech
Quinn Tupaea (21) Hamilton Old Boys
Gideon Wrampling (*) Hamilton Old Boys
() = caps for Waikato
* = uncapped for Waikato
Article added: Tuesday 08 September 2020