Posted on July 26, 2016
Steve Jackson today announced his QBE North Harbour 29 man squad for the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup campaign. Putting it bluntly, Jackson is excited “This squad has been selected on club form, with a number of players forcing their way into our thinking based on their individual performances week after week. There are always tough selectorial decisions, but to be honest these guys made it pretty easy on us – as they have trained hard away from the spotlight and performed consistently on the field at club level every Saturday”
There are 8 new faces for QBE North Harbour in 2016 and two that we are delighted to welcome back. Chris Smylie (49 caps) and Glen Preston (4 caps) are the two returning players and both have been playing in Italy. Jackson comments. “It is great to have these guys back in the fold. The experience they bring back to Harbour will be invaluable in a competition as intense and demanding as this.”
Of the new faces three have come up from the Waikato - Bryn Gatland, Josh Tyrell and Kane Jacobsen have all settled in the region and have been a big part of the success of the Takapuna Club this season.
Another new face, Toketa Fatai has been impressive for the East Coast Bays front row and is certainly one that put his hand up to get in this squad this year.
Both Afa Faatau and Matt Duffie signed with the Blues this year, the latter getting significant game time throughout the season and have now come into the squad.
Murphy Taramai ex NZ 7’s Rep who has been in outstanding club form joins the group from Wellington and is sure to catch the eye.
Another exciting addition is the North Shore midfield pairing of James Little (who is still only 18) and Dan Hilton-Jones, who have formed a strong combination at Club level and deserved their selection.
Jackson reserves a special comment for Marty Swart “It is great to have Marty Swart in our fold. Marty has had a challenging time with injuries over the past two years - that have seen him twice sidelined before he even got started. We all hope it is third time lucky for this promising outside back.”
Of course this squad would not be possible without the incredible support of the Board, CEO, staff, and of course our sponsors, whom without we could not compete and their generosity certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.
I would also personally thank our Premier Club Coaches for their work with our players during the season, and particularly for their support in implementing the new law trials (at Premier Club level) that will be used during the Mitre 10 Cup.
The squad is:
Hapakuki Liavaa - Moala
Daniel Hilton Jones