Connect with us

Super Rugby

Queensland Reds sign All Blacks duo



The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) is proud to announce former All Blacks Alex Hodgman and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen have signed with the Queensland Reds through 2025.

The pair bring more than 250 games of experience across Super Rugby, Premiership Rugby and the United Rugby Championship to the Reds squad, while both have represented New Zealand at Test level.   

Hodgman, 30, and Toomaga-Allen, 32, have both signed two-year deals and will join newly appointed head coach Les Kiss at Ballymore for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

Hodgman is also eligible to represent the Wallabies post Rugby World Cup through World Rugby’s Regulation 8 eligibility law.

Hodgman said: “I’m looking forward to moving over to Australia with my family and starting new with the Reds. 

“Change is good but also comes with its challenges and that excites me. 

“A new facility, new coach and a playing group that has been together for a while allows me to bring my experience and just be me. 

“I’m blessed to be here and can’t wait to get started.”

Toomaga-Allen said: “I can’t wait to join the club.

“I’m excited to be coming back to Super Rugby after being away for a few years and getting to know everyone at the Reds.

“I’m feeling really blessed to be able to be closer to family which is a big part of why I joined the organisation.

“When speaking to Les and Sam, we talked about the importance of family and how we as a team can keep growing as a unit on-and-off the field which was a big drawcard for me.

“I’m keen to get amongst the community in Queensland and looking forward to connecting with all the supporters around the state.”

Kiss said: “We’re pleased to welcome two props of the calibre of Alex and Jeffery to our squad.

“Both bring experience at the highest level and will strengthen our tight five on-and-off the field.

“There’s been a strong culture of care and connection built at Ballymore over the past few years. After talking to both Alex and Jeff, they both have a team-first mentality and will only bolster these values over the next two seasons.

“In addition, having a player of Alex’s ability qualifying for Wallaby selection in 2024 is great for Australian Rugby.”

Loosehead prop Hodgman attended Auckland’s Mount Albert Grammar School and was part of the Blues U18s program before representing Fiji at the U20s World Cup in 2012.

He switched allegiances to represent New Zealand in the same tournament the following year, before making the move to Canterbury.

After impressing in the National Provincial Championship (NPC), Hodgman debuted for the Crusaders in 2015 and went on to earn nine caps for the club.

He returned to Auckland in 2017 to take up a contract with the Blues and has since played 56 Super Rugby games for the franchise.

After an impressive Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign in 2020, Hodgman was named to make his All Blacks debut against Australia at Eden Park and featured off the bench in a 27-7 win over the Wallabies.

He went on to play a further three Tests over the next two seasons, while World Rugby’s eligibility laws will see him available for the Wallabies this November.

Joining him in the Queensland frontrow will be Toomaga-Allen, who brings over a decade of experience both in Super Rugby and abroad.

Born in Wellington, the 192cm-tall tighthead debuted for the Hurricanes in 2012 after impressing at U20s level for New Zealand and in the NPC for his home city.

He made his All Blacks debut the following season, featuring in his sole Test against Japan in 2013.

Cemented in the Hurricanes lineup, Toomaga-Allen came off the bench in his side’s losing 2015 Super Rugby Grand Final, before injury ruled him out of their title win against the Lions the next year.

Toomaga-Allen returned to the All Blacks squad in 2017, featuring against the Barbarians on the Spring Tour, and was again selected in the national squad once again the following season.

He notched his 100th Super Rugby cap for the Hurricanes in 2018, becoming just the 15th player to do so for the Wellington-based club.

2019 saw Toomaga-Allen take his talents to the Northern Hemisphere where he played 61 matches for Wasps in the English Premiership.

A move to Ulster followed in 2022, while the prop also made his debut for Samoa, playing three matches on their end of year tour.

Toomaga-Allen will play his Queensland club Rugby for Norths, while Hodgman has committed his services to Sunnybank.

The pair will join recently re-signed Fijian international Peni Ravai and new recruit Massimo De Lutiis alongside World Cup-bound Wallabies Matt Faessler and Zane Nonggorr in the Reds frontrow.

Alex Hodgman

  • Position: Prop
  • Height: 190cm
  • Weight: 122kg
  • Born: 16/07/1993
  • Place of birth: Auckland, New Zealand
  • School: Mount Albert Grammar School
  • Super Rugby debut: 28/02/2015 v Chiefs, Waikato Stadium (Crusaders)
  • Super Rugby caps: 65
  • All Blacks debut: 18/10/2020 v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland
  • All Blacks caps: 4

Jeffery Toomaga-Allen

  • Position: Prop
  • Height: 192cm
  • Weight: 125kg
  • Born: 19/11/1990
  • Place of birth: Wellington, New Zealand
  • School: Wellington College
  • Super Rugby debut: 25/02/2012 v Stormers, Cape Town (Hurricanes)
  • Super Rugby caps: 117
  • All Blacks debut: 02/11/2013 v Japan, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Tokyo
  • All Blacks caps: 1
  • Samoa debut: 05/11/2023 v Italy, Stadio Plebiscito, Padua
  • Samoa caps: 3

Content & Images from – Queensland Reds 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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading