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Few surprises in Hurricanes squad for 2023

Above: Wellington Lions players Riley Higgins, Peter Lakai (both new to the franchise), Caleb Delany and Xavier Numia all join the Hurricanes in 2023. 

The Hurricanes have today named their 38-man squad for the 2023 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.

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.

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.

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.

Meanwhile, OBU and Wellington player Taine Plumtree returns to the Blues squad, Tawa wing Pepesana Patafilo is with the Crusaders, MSP lock/flanker Naitoa Ah Kuoi the Chiefs, and Norths duo Leni Apisai and Connor Garden-Bachop and Thomas Umaga-Jensen the Highlanders.

The 2022 Hurricanes squad is:  

Forwards: 

Props  
Owen Franks – Canterbury
Tyrel Lomax – Tasman
Tevita Mafileo – Bay of Plenty
Xavier Numia – Wellington
Pouri Rakete-Stones – Hawkes Bay
Pasilio Tosi – Bay of Plenty

Hookers 
Asafo Aumua – Wellington
Dane Coles – Wellington
Jacob Devery – Hawke’s Bay

Locks 
Dominic Bird – Wellington
James Blackwell – Wellington
Caleb Delany – Wellington
Justin Sangster – Bay of Plenty
Isaia Walker-Leawere – Hawke’s Bay

Loose Forwards 
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

Backs:  

Inside Backs 
Jamie Booth – North Harbour
Brett Cameron* – Manawatū
TJ Perenara – Wellington
Aidan Morgan – Wellington
Cam Roigard – Counties Manukau

Midfield
Riley Higgins* – Wellington
Billy Proctor – Wellington
Bailyn Sullivan – Waikato
Peter Umaga-Jensen – Wellington

Outside Backs 
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
RD9: BYE
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

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