The wider training groups for the five New Zealand teams in the 2008 Rebel Sport Super 14 have been announced.
The players named in the wider training groups form the back up for each of the Rebel Sport Super 14 squads, which were named last month. They will train part time with the full squads and provide injury cover.
The Rebel Sport Super 14 wider training squads for 2008 are:
Blues: Taranaki hooker Laurence Corlett, Auckland outside back Jarek Goebel, Auckland prop Chris Heard, Auckland loose forward Chris Lowrey, Auckland first five-eighth Lachie Munro, North Harbour lock / loose forward Chris Smith and North Harbour halfback Chris Smylie.
Chiefs: Waikato halfback David Bason, Bay of Plenty loose forward Colin Bourke, Waikato lock Mark Burman, Waikato midfielder Roimata Hansell-Pune, Waikato hooker Vern Kamo and Bay of Plenty first five-eighth Murray Williams. One to be added.
Hurricanes: Hawke’s Bay first five-eighth Matt Berquist, Taranaki halfback Brett Goodin, Wellington hooker Tone Kopelani, Wellington lock / loose forward Api Naikatini, Hawke’s Bay loose forward George Naoupu, Wellington prop Anthony Perenise and Hawke’s Bay midfielder Jason Shoemark.
Crusaders: Canterbury halfback Steve Alfeld, Canterbury hooker Steve Fualau, Canterbury midfielders Vince Mellars and Ben Nowell, Tasman wing Afeleke Pelenise, Tasman flanker Jonathan Poff and Tasman prop Sakaria Taulafo.
Highlanders: Southland lock Josh Bekhuis, Otago lock Ross Kennedy, Otago hooker Jed Vercoe, Otago hooker Peter Mirrielees, Otago halfback Sean Romans, Otago centre / wing Ben Smith, Otago centre / wing Matt Saunders, Otago fullback Glen Horton and Southland first five-eighth Blair Stewart.
New Zealand Rugby Union Professional Rugby Manager Neil Sorensen said the wider training groups were important back-ups for the Rebel Sport Super 14 squads. “It’s going to be fantastic for these guys to be involved in next year’s competition. A number of them have Rebel Sport Super 14 or Air New Zealand Cup experience and those who haven’t have been identified by their Franchises and the NZRU as having the potential to step up in the future.”