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ACT Brumbies confirm High Performance team for 2023 season



The ACT Brumbies have finalised their 2023 Super Rugby Pacific and Super W staff with several exciting additions and returning faces joining the club’s High-Performance unit (HPU).


General Manager Chris Thomson joined the club late last year, with the former World Rugby High-Performance Project Manager for Pathways and Player Development also heading up the Brumbies Super W and pathways program.


The High-Performance team will be guided by Team Manager Bill Swain, Assistant Manager Mal Daisley and Assistant Logistics Manager and club legend, Garry ‘Quinzo’ Quinlivan. 


Byron Field returns to the club following a four-year stint with Bath Rugby in England. Field spent 8 seasons with the Brumbies from 2011 to 2018 as a physiotherapist, moving into the club’s Head of Performance Health.


Kimberley Wells joins the club as Team Doctor, with Guy Little continuing in his role as the Brumbies Sport Psychologist.


Long-time physio Dave Wellington moves into the Head of Physiotherapy in 2022, with Ryan Clayton also stepping up as Head of Athletic Performance.


Clayton is supported by new Strength and Conditioning coach, Thomas Stebbing and Performance Data Manager, Nic Tanner, with Mitch Ward and Liam Slater working with Wellington as Team Physio and Rehabilitation coach respectively.


Michelle Minehan, a senior lecturer at the University of Canberra, joins as the club’s Dietician with Robin Duff adding valuable contribution to player welfare as the Brumbies RUPA appointed Player Development Manager.


Stuart Manton will assist Head Performance Analyst Matt Watkins, who comes in after nine years at Bath, with Rian Murphy continuing as Team Media Manager.


Daniel Hooper pivots into a new role as the Head of Elite Pathways and Player Development, working alongside experienced Strength and Conditioning coach Tristan Sharp who arrives at the club after leading the athletic performance program for the Wallaroo’s at last year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.


Dan and Tristan will lead the alignment of the Brumbies Academy and Pathways Teams and will supported by the Head of Pathways, Andy Clark, along with ex-Brumby and new Academy and Pathways Forwards Coach, John Ulugia.


Tony Abel commences a new position within the organisation as the Brumbies Super W and Pathways Operations Manager and will support Thomson and Super W Head Coach Scott Fava in coordinating the delivery of this year’s program.  Abel will also lead the
delivery of the community pathways teams, the ACT Griffins, and Kestrels later
in the year.


ACT Brumbies General Manager Professional Rugby and Pathways, Chris Thomson said: “We’re pleased to assemble an exciting and experienced High-Performance team that will work to give our players the tools to be at their best in Super Rugby this season.”


“Though there’s change in the group, many of the additions have spent time in our environment in the past, or have shared experience at different clubs, and with Steve (Larkham) coming in as head coach, we have looked to build on the really solid foundation that exists at the club.”


ACT Brumbies 2023 High-Performance Team


Super Rugby Pacific


Stephen Larkham – Head Coach

Rod Seib – Assistant Coach (Attack)

Laurie Fisher – Assistant Coach (Defence)

Dan Palmer – Assistant Coach (Set Piece)

Damien Hill – Kicking Coach

Matt Watkins – Head Performance Analyst

Stuart Manton – Assistant Performance Analyst


Athletic Performance:

Ryan Clayton – Head of Athletic Performance

Thomas Stebbing – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Nick Tanner – Performance Data Manager


Performance Health:

Byron Field – Head of Performance Health

Dave Wellington – Head of Physiotherapy

Mitch Ward – Team Physiotherapist

Liam Slater – Rehabilitation Coach 

Kimberley Wells – Team Doctor

Guy Little – Sport Psychologist

Michelle Minehan – Performance Dietician



Chris Thomson – General Manager Professional Rugby &

Bill Swain – Team Manager

Mal Daisley – Assistant Team Manager 

Gary Quinlivan – Assistant Logistics Manager 

Robin Duff – Player Development Manager

Rian Murphy – Media Manager


Super W

Tony Abel – Super W and Pathways Operations Manager

Scott Fava – Head Coach

Mick Burrows – Assistant Coach

Tim Cornforth – Assistant Coach

Ryan Connell – Head S&C

Alice Mae – Head Physio

Karen Bisley – Super W and Pathways Team Doctor

Academy and Pathways


Dan Hooper – Head of Elite Pathways and Player Development

Tristan Sharp – Academy & Pathways Head S&C 

Andy Clark – Head of Pathways

John Ulugia – Academy & Pathways Forwards Coach

Mitch Ward – Academy & Pathways Head Physio

Joey Humphries – Academy & Pathways Assistant Physio

Keishav Muralietharan – Junior Academy Physio

Content & Images from – Brumbies Rugby

Super Rugby

Brad Shields named 2024 Hurricanes Captain



Brad Shields named 2024 Hurricanes Captain

Experienced loose-forward and Hurricanes centurion Brad Shields has today been confirmed as captain of the Hurricanes ahead of their 2024 DHL Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

He will be supported by Asafo Aumua and Jordie Barrett, who have been named as vice-captains for 2024.

Shields, who played 103 games for the Hurricanes between 2012 and 2018, before heading offshore to pursue a test career with England, signed with the Hurricanes last year, eyeing a return for this season.

He takes over the reins from 2023 captain Ardie Savea who departed for Japan this season.

The captain’s tag is a title the 32-year-old is not unfamiliar with, having led the Hurricanes in their 31-all draw against the British and Irish Lions in 2017, and then taking on the role for the entire 2018 season.

Shields said he is honoured to be given the captain’s armband for 2024, but it is a role he will lean on many of his experienced teammates for support.

“I’m hugely excited and honoured to be leading the Hurricanes this season,” said Shields.

“I admit, after Clarky (Clark Laidlaw) told me I was really stoked, but I did feel a little apprehensive given I had been away for a few years and the quality of leadership we have at the Hurricanes. But at the end of the day, it’s a massive challenge and opportunity I’m excited for, and what makes it more exciting is there is a handful of guys here with so much experience who I know I will turn to for support. We’ll all work together with this one.”

Hurricane #184 said he intends to lead by his actions this season which he hopes will bring out the best out of a young Hurricanes team, and Hurricanes fans.

“Actions. Always by actions is how I like to lead,” said Shields.

“I really want to challenge our environment because challenge always brings better performances. We’ve got a really young team this season so anywhere I can help and encourage and bring the best out of some of the young guys, and the players who have been here for a while, is what I aim for.

“The one thing that’s massive for us at the Hurricanes is connection within our community. Ultimately, we’ve got to play good rugby and perform really well if we want bums on seats, but it certainly means a lot to know we’ve got our community behind us, and we’ll do everything we can to give them a good service and make 2024 an exciting and enjoyable season to watch.”

Having an abundance of experienced leaders in this Hurricanes side didn’t make the captaincy decision an easy one for Hurricanes Head Coach Clark Laidlaw.

However, Laidlaw said he and the other coaches were impressed with Shields’ attitude the moment he stepped back into camp and became an obvious choice as the right man to lead the side.

“The coaches and I do a lot of observing around leadership of the team, and it became reasonably apparent that we have several players that want to lead which is really exciting,” said Laidlaw.  

“But with Brad, he leads really well every day. He’s a great role model around how we want to train; he’s competitive as hell; he’s won Super Rugby; he’s a test match player; he’s bigger and stronger than he’s been before; and he knows what it takes to win and to lead. So, at the end of the day, he became an obvious choice.

“One of the best things about Brad is that he wants to be better. That’s an important trait to have as a leader as it rubs off on everyone else. We as coaches want our captain to represent what we want the team to look like. And we felt with Brad’s experience and his maturity, he’s the right man to lead us forward for this season.”

Laidlaw also echoed Shields’ comments on looking to his teammates for support this season.

“Brad will lead the side, but we do have a number of other players with Asafo and Jordie, who are going to be vice-captains of the team, and our leadership group will support Brad and help the coaches this season.”


Content & Images from – Hurricanes Rugby

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Super Rugby

Waratahs Squad announced for 2024 Super Rugby Season



The NSW Waratahs confirmed its initial 34-player squad for the 2024 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season with a couple more spots to be decided in pre-season.

Props: Angus Bell, Archer Holtz, Daniel Botha, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, Tom Lambert, Tom Ross

Hookers: Dave Porecki, Mahe Vaianu, Theo Fourie

Locks: Hugh Sinclair, Jed Holloway, Miles Amatosero, Ned Hanigan

Loose forwards: Charlie Gamble, Fergus Lee-Warner, Lachlan Swinton, Langi Gleeson, Ned Slack-Smith

Halfbacks: Jack Grant, Jake Gordon, Teddy Wilson

Flyhalves: Jack Bowen, Tane Edmed, Will Harrison

Centres: Izaia Perese, Joey Walton, Lalakai Foketi, Mosese Tuipulotu

Outside backs: Dylan Pietsch, Harry Wilson, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Max Jorgensen, Vuate Karawalevu

New signings and re-signings

For all new signings and re-signing, you can follow our 2024 Waratahs Contract tracker.

Content & Images from – Waratahs Rugby

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Super Rugby

Highlanders 2024 Squad Announcement




The Highlanders will usher into the fold a swag of new players for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Some have already made brief appearances last season such as halfback Nathan Hastie, loose forward Oliver Haig, hooker Jack Taylor and midfielders Jake Te Hiwi and Matt Whaanga. Several players have come through the John Jones Steel Highlander’s High Performance Programme such as first-five, Ajay Faleafaga, and loose forward Hayden Michaels.

Also new to the team, and adding depth to the outside back stocks, are the arrival of blockbusting winger and former Moana Pasifika star, Timoci Tavatavanawai, and Blues’ speedster Jacob Ratumaituvuki-Kneepkens. Argentinian winger, Martín Bogado, fresh from the 2023 World Cup, will return to further his Super Rugby experience in New Zealand.

Another former Blues player will add strength to the midfield in the form of Tanielu Tele’a who will be looking to get his career back on track after being hampered by injury in recent seasons.

Former Welsh international, Rhys Patchell, will bring his vital experience to the first-five role which will be good news for young pivots Cameron Millar and Ajay Faleafaga.

All Black, Ethan De Groot, will be joined in the forward pack by veteran loose forward and former Crusader Tom Sanders.

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Clarke Dermody, is looking forward to the preseason and the opportunity to work with his players.

“We have had a few changes in our squad and our coaching group so it will be great to get everyone together and start building some cohesion through the preseason. We will just about have our whole squad together from day one, which is a nice opportunity for us.”

“I am also pleased to see some of the younger players that we have invested in over the last few years start to come through to Super Rugby level. I am sure their individual enthusiasm will be infectious for the squad. 

The team assembles on Thursday 23 November 2023.



Backs:  James Arscott (Otago), Connor Garden-Bachop (Wellington), Martín Bogado (Argentina), Folau Fakatava (Hawkes Bay), Ajay Faleafaga (Otago), Sam Gilbert (Otago), Nathan Hastie (Otago), Jacob Ratumaituvuki-Kneepkens (Taranaki), Jonah Lowe (Hawkes Bay), Cameron Millar (Otago), Jona Nareki (Otago), Rhys Patchell (Wales), Jake Te Hiwi (Otago), Timoci Tavatavanawai (Tasman), Tanielu Tele’a (Auckland), Josh Timu (Otago), Matt Whaanga (Southland)

Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley (Otago), Henry Bell (Otago), Nikora Broughton (Bay of Plenty), Daniel Lienert-Brown (Canterbury), Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury), Ethan De Groot (Southland), Oliver Haig (Otago), Billy Harmon (Canterbury) , Max Hicks (Tasman), Fabian Holland (Otago), Luca Inch (Tasman), Ricky Jackson (Otago), Ayden Johnstone (Waikato), Saula Ma’u (Otago), Hayden Michaels (Southland), Pari Pari Parkinson (Tasman), Hugh Renton (Tasman), Tom Sanders (Otago) , Jack Taylor (Southland), Will Tucker (Otago), Sean Withy (Otago)




Content & Images from – Highlanders Rugby

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