While the focus of fans has turned to international rugby, the coaches and staff at Super Rugby Pacific clubs have been working to get their squads in order for 2023 and kicking off trial matches.
The five New Zealand Super Rugby teams and Auckland-based Moana Pasifika, along with the Brumbies, Rebels, Force and the NSW Waratahs have all dropped their official squad lists (see them listed below).
Fijian Drua will name their squad on Monday, November 28. The Queensland Reds say they will likely be naming theirs on November 30.
While the Kiwis had a coordinated announcement day, the Australian franchises will go their own way with squad announcements on an ad hoc basis through November.
Where squads are noted as ‘as it stands’ they are not official and information is our best estimation based on information from has been provided by club media managers or sourced from multiple news sites.
Where squads are listed as confirmed, they have been officially announced by the clubs.
(23/11/22): Moana Pasifika have named just one Super Rugby newcomer to their 39-man squad with the selection of 23-year-old Miracle Fai’ilagi. he becomes the first player to join the team from Samoan club rugby.
Returning are two former Wallabies, captain Sekope Kepu and flyhalf Christian Lealiifano, who turned 35 in September.
(21/11/22): The Force named a 38-man sqaud with 10 new faces, including fly-halves Bryce Hegarty (Leicester Tigers) and Hamish Stewart (Queensland Reds), with 179 Super Rugby caps and a plethora of experience between them.
The ACT Brumbies have a new/old name and a new/old coach in Stephen Larkham, who has spoken about bringing a more attacking brand of rugby back to Canberra. They have lost Wallabies front rowers Scott Sio and Folau Fainga’a and backs Irae Simone and Tom Banks.
Flyhalf Jack Debreczeni, centre Tamati Tua and outside-back Ben O’Donnell are the three new faces to Larkham’s squad, with six Brumbies pathways products being promoted into the club’s senior squad. Corey Toole also returns from rugby sevens.
Larkham said: “We’re really pleased with the makeup of the squad and it’s great to have the majority of the group returning including the six pathways boys who all trained full-time last season.”
“When you look at the squad, there’s genuine competition for places and depth in key positions, so everyone will need to earn selection week to week which is what you need to be successful.
“We want this group to belong to our ACT community, we want to make heroes out of these players and I think with the broad range of backgrounds, the journeys these players have been on to be at our club, it’s a squad that we believe the capital region will get behind.”
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Allan Alaalatoa, Fred Kaihea, Sefo Kautai, Tom Ross, James Slipper, Harry Vella
Hookers: Lachlan Lonergan, Connal McInerney, Billy Pollard
Locks: Nick Frost, Tom Hooper, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain
Backrow: Jahrome Brown, Ed Kennedy, Luke Reimer, Pete Samu, Rory Scott, Rob Valetini, Charlie Cale
Halfbacks: Ryan Lonergan, Nic White, Klayton Thorn
Flyhalves: Noah Lolesio, Jack Debreczeni, Nathan Carroll
Centres: Hudson Creighton, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Len Ikitau, Ollie Sapsford, Tamati Tua
Outside backs: Jesse Mogg, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright, Declan Meredith, Ben O’Donnell, Corey Toole
INS: Declan Meredith, Charlie Cale, Harry Vella (all pathways), Ben O’Donnell (Connacht), Jack Debreczeni (Hino Red Dolphins), Corey Toole (Aus Sevens), Tamati Tua (Blues).
OUTS: Scott Sio (Exeter Chiefs), Irae Simone (Clermont), Tom Banks (Japan TBC), Folau Fainga’a (Western Force), Rod Iona (MLR), Lachie Albert (TBC), Cam Clark (TBC).
The Rebels have lost their captain Michael Wells as well as their experienced Wallabies back Matt Too’mua while two youngsters are heading to the NRL. Italian Test player Monty Ioane is a notable pickup.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Jaiden Christian, Cabous Eloff, Pone Fa’amausili, Matt Gibbon, Cameron Orr, Sam Talakai, Isaac Aedo Kailea
Hookers: Jordan Uelese, Alex Mafi, Anaru Rangi, Theo Fourie
Locks: Trevor Hosea, Matt Philip, Josh Canham, Tuiana Taii Tualima
Backrow: Richard Hardwick, Zac Hough, Tamati Ioane, Josh Kemeny, Rob Leota, Brad Wilkin, Daniel Maiava
Halfbacks: Moses Sorovi, James Tuttle, Ryan Louwrens
Flyhalves: Carter Gordon, Mason Gordon, Nick Jooste
Centres: David Feliuai, Stacey Ili, Lebron Naea, Ray Nu’u, Lukas Ripley, David Vaihu
Outside backs: Lachlan Anderson, Reece Hodge, Andrew Kellaway, Joe Pincus, Ilikena Vudogo, Glen Vaihu, Lachie Anderson, Monty Ioane
INS: Sam Talakai (Tokyo Sungoliath), Alex Mafi (Reds), Anaru Rangi (Shining Arcs), Tuaina Taii Tualima (Reds), Ryan Louwrens (Austin), Monty Ioane (Benetton), Jaiden Christian, Theo Fourie, Zac Hough, David Feliuai, David Vaihu
OUTS: Michael Wells (Force), Sef Fa’agase (Reds), James Hanson (TBC), Efi Maafu (Rouen), Ross Haylett-Petty (TBC), Young Tonumaipea (Melbourne Storm), Jeral Skelton (Canterbury Bankstown), Matt To’omua (Japan), Joe Powell (London Irish), Josh Hill (TBC), Rhys Van Nek (TBC), Tom Nowlan, Divad Palu,
Darren Coleman made an instant impact last season, raising performances and fan expectations. Welsh veteran Jamie Roberts has moved on along with a long list of other players, but Coleman has again leaned into experience by bringing in the likes of Kurtley Beale and Fijian veteran Nemani Nadolo. The selection that has raised most eyebrows is that of Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu, who comes home after a controversial and difficult time in France.
The second-row stocks have been bolstered with a mixture of youth and experience with the signings of Taleni Seu (Chiefs), Zac Von Appen (Sydney Uni), and Zane Marolt (ACT Brumbies).
Harrison Goddard adds depth at scrumhalf, linking up with Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman whom he won two titles in two seasons under at Gordon and the LA Giltinis in Major League Rugby.
The Waratahs’ development pathway continues to provide the side plenty of talent, with Teddy Wilson, Harry Wilson, Ben Dowling, and Jack Bowen all promoted into the full-time playing squad for the 2023 season.
Max Jorgensen joins the side for pre-season after graduating through the Waratahs Gen Blue Academy Pathway where he has played a starring role since the U15 age level.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Angus Bell, Tiaan Taukipulu, Te Tera Faulkner, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Archer Holz, Tom Lambert
Hookers: David Porecki, Tolu Latu, Mahe Vailanu
Locks: Jed Holloway, Taleni Seu, Zac Von Appen, Zane Marolt, Hugh Sinclair
Backrow: , Lachie Swinton, Michael Hooper, Will Harris, Charlie Gamble, Langi Gleeson, Ned Hanigan
Halfbacks: Jake Gordon, Harrison Goddard, Teddy Wilson
Flyhalves: Will Harrison, Tane Edmed, Ben Donaldson, Jack Bowen
Centres: Joey Walton, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Mosese Tuipulotu
Outside Backs: Mark Nawaqanitawase, Kurtley Beale, Dylan Pietsch, Nemani Nadolo, Harry Wilson, Ben Dowling, Max Jorgensen
INS: Kurtley Beale (Racing 92), Tolu Latu (Stade Français), Tom Lambert (Glasgow Warriors), Nemani Nadolo (Leicester Tigers), Harrison Goddard (LA Giltinis), Taleni Seu (Toyota Industries Shuttles), Zac Von Appen, Zane Marolt, Max Jorgensen (Academy).
OUTS: Alex Newsome (Clermont), Jeremy Williams (Force), Jamie Roberts (TBC), Henry Robertson (Force), Ruan Smith (Lions SA), Geoff Cridge (Bayonne), Tom Horton (Leicester Tigers), Max Douglas (Japan), Hugh Bokenham (TBC), Carlo Tizzano (Ealing Trailfinders), Jack Grant (Ealing Trailfinders), James Ramm (Northampton Saints), Triston Reilly (Wests Tigers – NRL), Tevita Funa (TBC), Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco.
Brad Thorn will be eager to add to his squad next year after they were found out in the knock out rounds. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, who was left out in the cold, has moved on, as has Alex Mafi, and Hamish Stewart, the latter joining the Force after the Reds were angered by an approach from the Rebels.
2023 Squad as it stands
Props: George Blake, Harry Hoopert, Zane Nonggorr, Taniela Tupou, Dane Zander, Sef Fa’agase
Hookers: Richie Asiata, Josh Nasser, Matt Faessler, George Blake
Locks: Angus Blyth, Lopeti Faifua, Ryan Smith, Luke Jones, Wilson Blyth, Connor Vest,
Backrow: Fraser McReight, Seru Uru, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright
Halfbacks: Spencer Jeans, Tate McDermott, Kalani Thomas
Flyhalves: Lawson Creighton, Tom Lynagh, James O’Connor
Centres: Josh Flook, Isaac Henry, Hunter Paisami
Outside backs: Jock Campbell, Filipo Daugunu, Mac Grealy, Jordan Petaia, Suliasi Vunivalu
INS: Luke Jones (Racing 92), Sef Fa’agase (Rebels), George Blake (Academy), Wilson Blyth (Academy),
OUTS: Feao Fotuaika (TBC), Alex Mafi (Rebels), Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Northampton), Angus Scott-Young (Northampton), Tuaina Taii Tualima (Rebels), Hamish Stewart (Force).
New coach Simon Cron has reshapeD the team in pursuit of a move up the table.
The former junior Wallabies coach, Waratahs assistant and Shute Shield winning coach with Norths has been with Toyota Verblitz where he worked under New Zealand World Cup-winning coach Steve Hansen.
Cron has enlisted a wealth of youth, dropping the squad’s average age from 27 to 24. Cron has significant trust in the experience of his hand picked coaching staff to shape the young talent throughout the season.
The squad includes four capped Wallabies Folau Fainga’a, Izack Rodda, Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu’u, and Argentinian Prop Santiago Medrano. A further seven players represented Australia A this year, including Tim Anstee, Jeremy Williams, Ollie Callan, Jackson Pugh, Bayley Kuenzle and Hamish Stewart.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Bo Abra, , Tom Robertson, Angus Wagner, Sifa Amone, Andrew Romano, Santiago Medrano, Charlie Hancock.
Hookers: Feleti Kaitu’u, Jack Winchester, Folau Fainga’a
Locks: Ryan McCauley, Izack Rodda, Jeremy Williams, Will Sankey, Felix Kalapu
Backrow: Jackson Pugh, Tim Anstee, Ollie Callan, Kane Koteka, Michael Wells, Ned Slack-Smith
Halfbacks: Isaac Fines-Leleiwasa, Ian Prior, Henry Robertson
Flyhalves: Reejan Pasitoa, Hamish Stewart, Bryce Hegarty
Centres: Bayley Kuenzle, Grason Makara, George Poolman, Oliver Cummins
Outside backs: Daniel Ala, Manasa Mataele, Toni Pulu, Jake Strachan, Reece Tapine, Chase Tiatia, Rupeni Mataele
INS: Chase Tiatia (Hawke’s Bay), Bryce Hegarty (Leicester Tigers), Henry Robertson (Waratahs), Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies), Jeremy Williams (Waratahs), Michael Wells (Rebels), Sifa Amone (Academy), George Poolman (Academy), Andrew Romano (Academy), Rupeni Mataele (Academy), Ned Slack-Smith (Academy), Felix Kalapu (Old Glory DC), Charlie Hancock, Jackson Pugh, Oliver Cummins.
OUTS: Greg Holmes (retired), Jeremy Thrush (retired), Richard Kahui (retired), Brynard Stander (TBC), Kyle Godwin (Lyon), Fergus Lee-Warner (Worcester Warriors), Andrew Ready (Colomiers), Brad Lacey (TBC), Byron Ralston (Connacht), Jack McGregor (TBC), Jake McIntyre (France), Michael McDonald (Ulster), Sitaleki Timani, Harry Lloyd, Jackson Pugh.
Fijian Drua’s biggest signing so far is that of CEO Mark Evans, a former CEO of Western Force and Melbourne Storm, who is charged with taking the club on after their entry into the competition last season.
2023 Squad as it stands
Props: Haereiti Hetet, Jone Koroiduadua, Meli Tuni, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Manasa Saulo, Samuela Tawake, Timoci Sauvoli, Mesake Doge, Emosi Tuqiri
Hookers: Mesu Dolokoto, Tevita Ikanivere, Zuriel Togiatama
Locks: Chris Minimbi, Ratu Rotuisolia, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Viliame Rarasea
Backrow: Joseva Tamani, Kitione Salawa, Meli Derenalagi, Nemani Nagusa, Raikabula Momoedonu, Rusiate Nasove, Vilive Miramira, Isoa Nasilasila, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Elia Canakaivata
Halfbacks: Leone Nawai, Peni Matawalu, Simione Kuruvoli
Flyhalves: Teti Tela
Centres: Apisalome Vota, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Kalione Nasoko, Seru Vularika, Michael Naitokani
Outside Backs: Vinaya Habosi, Kitione Taliga, Napolioni Bolaca, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, Iosefo Masi
INS: Timoci Sauvoli (France), Mesake Doge (Dragons WAL), Iosefo Masi (Nth Qld Cowboys), Elia Canakaivata (sevens), Emosi Tuqiri, Michael Naitokani (Fijian Warriors).
OUTS: Onisi Ratave (Benetton)
Last year’s beaten finalists added three youngsters to their list for 2023 including blindside flanker Rob Rush, son of former All Black and Sevens legend, Eric Rush. The others are prop Josh Fusitu’a and outside back Caleb Tangitau.
“Obviously we want to go one further, I know the boys will come into Blues HQ ready to hit the pre-season with some purpose – we know the hard work starts this side of Christmas,” said coach Leon MacDonald.
“We took some really promising strides last season, so for me as a coach it’s about building on what went well while also bringing some fresh thinking and ideas to the table.”
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Alex Hodgman, James Lay, Ofa Tuungafasi, Marcel Renata, Nepo Laulala, Josh Fusitu’a
Hookers: Kurt Eklund, Soane Vikena, Ricky Riccitelli
Locks: James Tucker, Sam Darry, Patrick Tuipulotu
Loose forwards: Taine Plumtree, Tom Robinson, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali’i, Anton Segner, Hoskins Sotutu, Cameron Suafoa, Adrian Choat, Rob Rush
Halfbacks: Finlay Christie, Sam Nock, Taufa Funaki
Flyhalves: Beauden Barrett, Harry Plummer, Stephen Perofeta
Centres: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Tanielu Tele’a, Rieko Ioane, Corey Evans
Outside backs: Mark Telea, Caleb Clarke, Bryce Heem, AJ Lam, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Zarn Sullivan, Caleb Tangitau.
INS: Patrick Tuipulotu (Toyota Verblitz), Josh Fusitu’a (Academy), Rob Rush, Caleb Tangitau
OUTS: Karl Tu’inukuafe (Montpellier), Josh Goodhue, Luke Romano, Tamati Tua
All Black Damian McKenzie returns from Japan to bolster the Chiefs but it offset somewhat by the loss of Jonah Lowe.
Of the 38 players named; 15 have run out in the All Blacks jersey, seven are in the current All Blacks squad, and five in the All Blacks XV.
Coach Clayton McMillan said: “There is a lot of consistency in our selection with only four new recruits, and the return of fan favourite Damian McKenzie, as additions to the squad. This is reflected in our belief that we are trending in the right direction. Our relatively young squad is maturing nicely and we have developed genuine cohesion and depth across the squad. We look forward to getting into our work over the summer and hitting the ground running in front of our loyal fans next year.”
Of the new additions, two are transfers from the Highlanders – Ngantungane Punivai and Manaaki Selby-Rickit.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Aidan Ross, Atunaisa Moli, Angus Ta’avao, Ollie Norris, Jared Proffit, George Dyer
Hookers: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Bradley Slater, Tyrone Thompson
Locks: Tupou Vaa’i, Brodie Retallick, Laghlan McWhannell, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Josh Lord, Manaaki Selby-Rickit
Loose Forwards: Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Simon Parker, Pita Gus Sowakula, Kaylum Boshier, Samipeni Finau
Halfbacks: Brad Weber, Xavier Roe, Cortez Ratima
Flyhalves: Bryn Gatland, Josh Ioane
Centres: Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Rameka Poihipi, Gideon Wrampling
Outside backs: Damian McKenzie, Emoni Narawa, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Shaun Stevenson, Rivez Reihana, Ngantungane Punivai, Peniasi Malimali
INS: Damian McKenzie (Tokyo Sungoliath), George Dyer (Waikato), Peniasi Malimali (Counties Manukau), Jared Proffit (Taranaki), Ngantungane Punivai (Highlanders), Manaaki Selby-Rickit (Highlanders)
OUT: Chase Tiatia (Western Force), Jonah Lowe (Highlanders), Kaleb Trask (Honda Heat), Sione Mafileo, Reuben O’Neill, Mitchell Brown,
While the core of the squad is maintained from 2022, the Hurricanes made five signings. 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.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Tevita Mafileo, Xavier Numia, Tyrel Lomax, Pasilio Tosi, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Owen Franks
Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Jacob Devery
Locks: James Blackwell, Dominic Bird, Justin Sangster, Caleb Delany, Isaia Walker-Leawere
Loose forwards: Brayden Iose, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea, Tyler Laubscher, Devan Flanders, Tekemaka Howden, Peter Lakai
Halfbacks: Jamie Booth, TJ Perenara, Cam Roigard
Flyhalves: Aidan Morgan, Brett Cameron
Centres: Billy Proctor, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Bailyn Sullivan, Riley Higgins
Outside backs: Julian Savea, Jordie Barrett, Salesi Rayasi, Josh Moorby, Ruben Love, Dan Sinkinson, Kini Naholo
INS: Brett Cameron (Kamaishi Seawaves), Riley Higgins, Peter Lakai (rookie), Kini Naholo, Dan Sinkinson
OUTS: Alex Fidow,(TBC), James O’Reilly (TBC), Leni Apasai (Highlanders), Tom Parsons (TBC), Scott Scrafton (Benetton), Jackson Garden-Bachop (TBC), Teihorangi Walden (TBC), Wes Goosen (Edinburgh), Blake Gibson, Caleb Delany, Pepesana Patafilo,
Some big names are departing the SRP defending champions but Scott Robertson has been able to bolsetr the team with some returning talent.
Scott Robertson, Crusaders Head Coach, said the 2023 squad represented a mix of old and new talent and was feeling confident ahead of the season kicking off in February.
“We have a good balanced squad this year, with some seasoned veterans and an incredibly hard-working new crew of Crusaders,” Robertson said.
“I’m proud of the group we’ve put together this season, and I know they’re all ready and excited to represent the Crusaders region on the big stage.”
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Joe Moody, Oli Jager, Fletcher Newell, George Bower, Tamaiti Williams, Finlay Brewis
Hookers: Codie Taylor, Brodie McAlister, George Bell
Locks: Scott Barrett, Quinten Strange, Mitchell Dunshea, Sam Whitelock, Zach Gallagher
Loose forwards: Tom Christie, Ethan Blackadder, Sione Havili, Cullen Grace, Dominic Gardiner, Corey Kellow, Christian Lio-Willie
Halfbacks: Mitch Drummond, Noah Hotham, Willi Heinz
Flyhalves: Richie Mo’unga, Fergus Burke, Taha Kemara
Centres: Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Dallas McLeod
Outside backs: Chay Fihaki, Sevu Reece, Will Jordan, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Pepesana Patafilo, Melani Nanai
INS: Noah Hotham (Tasman Mako), Christian Lio-Willie (Highlanders), George Bell, Pepesana Patafilo (Hurricanes), Melani Nanai
OUTS: Abraham Pole (Moana Pasifika), Pablo Matera, Bryn Hall (Shizuoka Blues), Inga Finau (Chiefs), George Bridge (Montpellier), Shilo Klein, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Simon Hickey, Isaiah Punivai, Kini Naholo
The Highlanders will start the season with a new head coach in Clarke Dermody and he will be backed by former SR winning coach Chris Boyd.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Ayden Johnstone, Jeff Thwaites, Ethan de Groot, Jermaine Ainsley, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Ma’u, Luca Inch
Hookers: Rhys Marshall, Andrew Makalio, Leni Apisai
Locks: Josh Dickson, Max Hicks, Pari Pari Parkinson, Fabian Holland, Will Tucker
Loose forwards: James Lentjes, Billy Harmon, Hugh Renton, Shannon Frizell, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Sean Withy, Nikora Broughton
Halfbacks: Aaron Smith, Folau Fakatava, James Arscott
Flyhalves: Marty Banks, Mitch Hunt, Cameron Millar
Centres: Fetuli Paea, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Scott Gregory
Outside backs: Connor Garden-Bachop, Mosese Dawai, Vilimoni Koroi, Sam Gilbert, Josh Timu, Jonah Lowe, Jona Nareki
INS: James Arscott (Otago), Jonah Lowe (Chiefs), Cameron Millar, Nikora Broughton, Fabian Holland, Will Tucker (New York)
OUTS: Liam Coltman (Lyon), Christian Lio-Willie (Crusaders), Kayne Hammington (TBC), Sio Tomkinson (Dragons WAL), Ngantungane Punivai (Chiefs), Manaaki Selby-Rickit (Chiefs), Solomon Alaimalo, Bryn Evans, Sam Caird, Gareth Evans
It was a tough road for the team last season and they have made minimal changes to the squad for the new season.
2023 CONFIRMED SQUAD
Props: Sekope Kepu, Isileli Tuungafasi, Joe Apikatoa, Tau Koloamatangi, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Chris Apoua, Abraham Pole
Hookers: Ray Niuia, Sam Moli, Luteru Tolai
Locks: Mike McKee, Alex McRobbie, Samuel Slade
Loose Forwards: Jack Lam, Sione Tuipulotu, Solomone Funaki, Penitoa Finau, Lotu Inisi, Sam Slade, Alamanda Motuga, Michael Curry
Halfbacks: Ereatara Enari, Jonathan Taumateine, Manu Paea
Flyhalves: Christian Lealifano, D’Angelo Leuila, Lincoln McClutchie, William Havili
Midfielders: Levi Aumua, Danny Toala, Henry Taefu, Fine Inisi
Outside Backs: Lolagi Visinia, Neria Fomai, Tomasi Alosio, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Tima Fainga’anuku, Anzelo Tuituvuki
INS: Abraham Pole, Samuel Slade, Michael Curry, Miracle Fai’ilagi, D’Angelo Leuila ,
OUTS: Henry Stowers (Benetton), Veikoso Poliniati (Racing 92), Solomone Kata (Exeter), Don Lolo.