With the 2019 Super Rugby not too far away, we’ve pulled together a full list of all the transfer activity for each team.
There certainly has been no lack of activity across all teams although the South African sides seem to have the least amount of transfer activity with the Lions, Sharks & Stormers all only adding 1 new name to their 2019 rosters. Melbourne Rebels recruitment team look to have had a very busy and fruitful transfer period adding several household names to their squad for the forthcoming season.
Check out the list of transfers (to date) below:
The main transfer news for the Blues ahead of the 2019 season will be the return of Ma’a Nonu and the departure of Jerome Kaino.Embed from Getty Images
Levi Aumua (Chiefs)
Jed Brown (Tasman)
Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Auckland)
Ma’a Nonu (Toulon)
Harry Plummer (Auckland)
Marcel Renata (Hurricanes)
Tom Robinson (Northland)
Hoskins Sotutu (Auckland)
Tanielu Tele’a (Auckland)
Karl Tu’inukuafe (Chiefs)
Lyndon Dunshea (Auckland)
Bryn Gatland (Highlanders)
Sione Havili (Tasman)
Terrence Hepetema (Bay of Plenty)
Jordan Hyland (Northland)
Matthew Johnson (Southland)
Jerome Kaino (Toulouse)
Antonio Kiri Kiri (Yorkshire Carnegie)
Daniel Kirkpatrick (Auckland)
Orbyn Leger (Counties Manukau)
Pauliasi Manu (Sunwolves)
Tumua Manu (Chiefs)
Matiaha Martin (Counties Manukau)
George Moala (Clermont)
Ben Nee-Nee (North Harbour)
Glenn Preston (North Harbour)
Kara Pryor (Sunwolves)
Isaac Salmon (Tasman)
Mike Tamoaieta (North Harbour)
Murphy Taramai (North Harbour)
Tamati Tua (Northland)
Ross Wright (Northland)
The Brumbies will be boosted by the big name signings of Wallabies Peter Samu and James Slipper but will certainly miss the presence of Ritchie Arnold in the 2nd row.Embed from Getty Images
Murray Douglas (Hurricanes)
Vunipola Fifita (Canberra Vikings)
Len Ikitau (Canberra Vikings)
Bayley Kuenzle (Southern Districts)
Noah Lolesio (Canberra Vikings)
Toni Pulu (Chiefs)
Tom Ross (Canberra Vikings)
Pete Samu (Crusaders)
Irae Simone (Waratahs)
James Slipper (Reds)
Robbie Abel (Auckland)
Ben Alexander (retired)
Richie Arnold (Yamaha Jubilo)
James Dargaville (North Harbour)
Mees Erasmus (Rebels)
Lolo Fakaosilea (Kintetsu Liners)
Kyle Godwin (Connacht)
Nic Mayhew (North Harbour)
Isi Naisarani (Rebels)
Michael Oakman-Hunt (Canberra Vikings)
Faalelei Sione (Manawatu)
Andrew Smith (Retired)
James Verity-Amm (released)
Some excellent business has been carried out by the Bulls in the off-season. Some familiar names will make their way back onto South African soil via the Bulls this season including former Springboks captain Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits.Embed from Getty Images
The Chiefs certainly have more high profile exits than they do entrants this season. They have lost lots of Super Rugby experience in the form of Liam Messam, Tim Nani-Williams & Charlie Ngatai to name a few.Embed from Getty Images
Jack Debreczeni (Rebels)
Tumua Manu (Blues)
Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato)
Ataata Moeakiola (Tokai)
Reuben O’Neill (Taranaki)
Levi Aumua (Blues)
Dominic Bird (Racing 92)
Johnny Fa’auli (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
Mitchell Graham (Taranaki)
Luteru Laulala (Counties Manukau)
Matt Matich (Northland)
Liam Messam (Toulon)
Tim Nanai-Williams (Clermont)
Charlie Ngatai (Lyon)
Declan O’Donnell (Waikato)
Jesse Parete (Taranaki)
Sam Prattley (Sunwolves)
Toni Pulu (Brumbies)
Jeff Thwaites (Bay of Plenty)
Karl Tu’inukuafe (Blues)
Regan Verney (Northland)
Similar to the Chiefs, the Crusaders look like their exits are higher profile than their newbies ahead of the 2019 season. The retirement of stalwart prop Wyatt Crockett will be a huge loss.Embed from Getty Images
Sam Anderson-Heather (Otago)
Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Hurricanes)
Donald Brighouse (Otago)
Wyatt Crockett (retired)
Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty)
Tima Fainga’anuku (Tasman)
Chris King (Canterbury)
Jone Macilai-Tori (Northland)
Pete Samu (Brumbies)
Sebastian Siataga (Bay of Plenty)
Jack Stratton (Waikato)
Seta Tamanivalu (Bordeaux)
Otago will be disappointed to lose such a high profile player in the prime in the form of Lima Sopoaga but will be delighted to see the fan favourite Marty Banks return to NZ shores.Embed from Getty Images
Marty Banks (Docomo Red Hurricanes)
Sef Fa’agase (Reds)
Folau Fakatava (Hawke’s Bay)
Bryn Gatland (Blues)
Josh Iosefa-Scott (Waikato)
Ayden Johnstone (Waikato)
Ray Niuia (Tasman)
Jack Whetton (Auckland)
Alex Ainley (Tasman)
Guy Millar (Biarritz)
Greg Pleasants-Tate (Canterbury)
Dan Pryor (Sunwolves)
Josh Renton (Otago)
Fletcher Smith (Hurricanes)
Lima Sopoaga (Wasps)
There are a few big name departures from the Hurricanes ahead of the 2019 season that
Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Crusaders)
Geoff Cridge (Hawke’s Bay)
Du’Plessis Kirifi (Wellington)
James Marshall (London Irish)
Liam Mitchell (Manawatu)
Billy Proctor (Wellington)
Salesi Rayasi (Auckland)
Fletcher Smith (Highlanders)
Jamie Booth (Sunwolves)
Murray Douglas (Brumbies)
Michael Fatialofa (Worcester Warriors)
James O’Reilly (Wellington)
Marcel Renata (Blues)
Julian Savea (Toulon)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Blade Thomson (Scarlets)
TJ Va’a (Wellington)
Nathan Vella (Canterbury)
Ihaia West (La Rochelle)
The Argentinians will be sad to lose the services of 2 talented playmakers ahead of the 2019 season with Juan Martín Hernández hanging up the boots and Nicolás Sánchez heading to France.Embed from Getty Images
Gaspar Baldunciel (Alumni)
Santiago Carreras (Córdoba Athletic)
Santiago Chocobares (Duendes)
Santiago Grondona (Champagnat)
Ignacio Mendy (sevens)
Franco Molina (Jockey)
Domingo Miotti (Tucuman)
Lucas Paulos (Olivios)
Lucio Sordoni (Atlético del Rosario)
Mayco Vivas (Atlético del Rosario)
Santiago Álvarez (Sevens)
Felipe Arregui (Duendes)
Franco Brarda (Tala)
Felipe Ezcurra (Leicester Tigers)
Nicolás Leiva (released)
Benjamín Macome (released)
Juan Martín Hernández (retired)
Nicolás Sánchez (Stade Francais)
Former Lions coach Johan Ackermann has raided the Lions ahead of the 2019 season taking 3 of his former players with him to Gloucester. Lions will be particularly disappointed to lose Jaco Kriel and Franco Mostert.Embed from Getty Images
Danie Mienie (Toulouse)
The Rebels back line on paper is now an exceptionally mouth watering prospect with the addition of Wallabies Quade Cooper & Matt Toomua into an already stacked backline they will be looking to make at least the play-offs in 2019.Embed from Getty Images
Quade Cooper (Reds)
Mees Erasmus (Brumbies)
Luke Jones (Bordeaux)
Campbell Magnay (Suntory Sungoliath)
Isi Naisarani (Brumbies)
Hugh Roach (Waratahs)
Matt Toomua (Leicester Tigers)
Brad Wilkin (Waratahs)
Jack Debreczeni (Chiefs)
Colby Fainga’a (Connacht)
David Horwitz (Connacht)
Henry Hutchinson (sevens)
Amanaki Mafi (NTT Shining Arcs)
Jack McGregor (Force)
Sefa Naivalu (Reds)
Geoff Parling (Retired)
Lopeti Timani (La Rochelle)
Laurie Weeks (Retired)
No real house-hold names being added to the Reds roster ahead of the 2019 season but certainly lots of house-hold names leaving. 100’s of Wallabies caps will be missing from the group in 2019 with Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas and George Smith just a few of the names leaving Queensland.Embed from Getty Images
Jock Campbell (Queensland Country)
Will Eadie (Brisbane City)
Gavin Luka (Bond University)
Efi Ma’afu (Queensland Country)
Matt McGahan (Yamaha Jubilo)
Fraser McReight (Brisbane City)
Sefa Naivalu (Rebels)
Harry Wilson (Queensland Country)
Quade Cooper (Rebels)
Kane Douglas (Bordeaux)
Sef Fa’agase (Highlanders)
Michael Gunn (Brisbane City)
Reece Hewat (Brisbane City)
Jono Lance (Worcester Warriors)
Ben Lucas (Grenoble)
Lachlan Maranta (Brisbane City)
Eto Nabuli (Bordeaux)
Jayden Ngamanu (Brisbane City)
Izaia Perese (released)
Andrew Ready (Southland)
James Slipper (Brumbies)
George Smith (Bristol Bears)
Karmichael Hunt (Waratahs)
Markus Vanzati (Force)
The retirements of Keegan Daniel and Michael Claassens are the main squad movement headlines ahead of the 2019 season.
Ruben van Heerden (Bulls)
Garth April (NTT Shining Arcs)
Tristan Blewett (Kings)
Michael Claassens (retired)
Keegan Daniel (retired)
Johan Deysel (Colomiers)
Ross Geldenhuys (Bay of Plenty)
Franco Marais (Gloucester)
Ruhan Nel (sevens)
Nizaam Carr (Wasps)
Dewaldt Duvenage (Treviso)
JC Janse van Rensburg (Grenoble)
Jan de Klerk (Canon Eagles)
Dean Muir (Kintetsu Liners)
Raymond Rhule (Grenoble)
Stephan de Wit (Kings)
George Whitehead (Griquas)
Eduard Zandberg (released)
Some good business for the Sunwolves sees former All Black Rene Ranger link up with the Japanese outfit ahead of the 2019 season.Embed from Getty Images
Mark Abbott (Coca-Cola Red Sparks)
Jamie Booth (Hurricanes)
Phil Burleigh (Canterbury)
Jamie Henry (Toyota Verblitz)
Pauliasi Manu (Blues)
Sam Prattley (Chiefs)
Dan Pryor (Highlanders)
Kara Pryor (Blues)
Rene Ranger (Northland)
Tom Rowe (Otago)
Hiroshi Yamashita (Kobe Steelers)
Nika Khatiashvili (Angoulême)
Taqele Naiyaravoro has been in destructive form since his move from the Waratahs to Northampton Saints this season and his presence will no doubt be missed on the wing. Ashley-Cooper will make a return to NSW ahead of the 2019 campaign.Embed from Getty Images
Karmichael Hunt (Reds)
John Folau (Sydney Rays)
Rory O’Connor (Sydney Rays)
Le Roux Roets (Pumas)
Andrew Kellaway (Northampton Saints)
Kelly Meafua (Béziers)
Taqele Naiyaravoro (Northampton Saints)
Hugh Roach (Rebels)
Paddy Ryan (NSW Country Eagles)
Matt Sandell (Sydney Rays)
Irae Simone (Brumbies)
Michael Snowden (retired)
Kalivati Tawake (Biarritz)
Brad Wilkin (Rebels)
We can’t wait for the Super Rugby season to kick off. Roll on February.
Transfer fee involved in Siya Kolisi move to the Sharks
There had been rumblings for some time now that Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi was looking an exit from the DHL Stormers after an 11 year stint with the Western Province with The Cell C Sharks touted as his desired destination.
Kolisi signed with Western Province Rugby straight out of school, spending his entire professional career with Western Province Rugby Institute. Kolisi was not long in making an impact after making a try-scoring debut for the DHL Stormers in the opening game of the 2012 Super Rugby campaign, coming on as an injury replacement for Springbok legend, Schalk Burger.
Kolisi was appointed DHL Stormers captain in 2017 and led the team for two full Vodacom Super Rugby campaigns before he was appointed Springbok captain in 2018. He ends his time at Western Province Rugby as the second-most capped DHL Stormers player, with the legendary Burger (123) the only player to have bettered his 118 Vodacom Super Rugby caps for the franchise.
Kolisi’s current contract was set to come to an end in October 2021 and although the WP did everything possible to re-sign him, he chose not to take it up and has been released early from his contract, upon acceptance of a transfer fee.
Earlier this week, The Sharks confirmed the signing of Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok captain, Siyamthanda Kolisi, who joins the Cell C Sharks on a multi-year deal. This huge signing has already made a huge difference in the Betway betting odds for the upcoming Rainbow Cup. Those who bet on rugby may now see Cell C Sharks as a realistic challenger with the addition of Kolisi to their roster.
Speaking at the transfer unveiling by the Sharks, Kolisi revealed that there has been a transfer fee to be paid to Western Province Rugby due to his early release and he had taken care of that himself.
He confirmed that The DHL Stormers had put a new offer on the table but that had been rejected.
Kolisi said: “I bought into the vision of the Sharks immediately – the energy around the club, the management set-up, the squad and the potential for success was so strong.
“I have always had a desire to be the best and play with the best to reach my potential on-and-off the field and this move is just another step in maximising what I can achieve within my career.
“This is a very exciting new chapter for me and my loved ones and one I’m embracing fully. I arrive with a commitment to give this team everything I have and I’m thankful to the Sharks for the opportunity. We can’t wait to see what Durban has to offer.”
A Sharks club statement from their website added: “Kolisi’s ongoing strong appetite to win trophies and better himself on the field matched with the Sharks’ strategic vision and defined blueprint for success. It drove Kolisi’s motivation to expand his horizons within SA rugby and embark on this exciting new chapter in Durban.”
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson wished Kolisi well and thanked him for his significant contributions over the years.
“Siya Kolisi will always be a DHL Stormers legend, his story is well-known throughout the world and everyone here is grateful to have played a role in that. We would have loved for him to stay and finish his career where it started, but we wish him all the best”
Kolisi said that he will always cherish the memories of his time with Western Province Rugby.
“I would like to thank everyone at Western Province Rugby for what has been an incredible time in my life in which I have grown as a rugby player and a person.
“All of the coaches, management and teammates who had such a big influence on me over the last 11 years and especially the DHL Stormers Faithful and people of Cape Town and beyond who made my time with the union so special. It has been a privilege to experience their support,”
Kolisi becomes the second high profile transfer of Springboks this year involving a transfer fee after The Bulls confirmed the signing of Marcel Coetzee from Irish Province Ulster Rugby. Coetzee had a year remaining on his existing deal with Ulster and it’s been rumoured that The Bulls will have copped a sizeable payout to secure his services.
The Betway odds sure make for interesting reading for the upcoming Rainbow Cup. Can any of the newly added South African franchises topple Irish favourites Leinster? Or will the Ospreys from Wales find form again to be challengers? It’s sure going to be an interesting competition. Round 1 is scheduled to begin on April 17th.
Rob Kearney secures move to Australia
Press Release from Western Force:
Ireland’s most decorated player, Rob Kearney, has signed with the Western Force on a one-year deal.
At club level, Kearney has earned 219 caps for Leinster, playing a crucial role in establishing the provincial side as Ireland’s most successful club team, where he lifted six PRO14 titles, four European Champions Cups and a European Challenge Cup since debuting against Welsh side Ospreys back in 2005.
Kearney’s aerial prowess, strength and reliability throughout his career has seen the Dundalk-born player also earn three caps for the British and Irish Lions, which included Tours to South Africa in 2009 and a series victory against Australia in 2013.
Having conquered the European club and international landscape for over a decade, Kearney is delighted for the opportunity to ply his trade in Western Australia.
“I am delighted to be joining the Western Force for their upcoming season and excited to play with such an ambitious club who are looking to improve on this year’s campaign,” Kearney explained.
“I hope to add value both on and off the field that complements the high ambition of the club.
“I’m particularly excited to immerse myself in a new performance environment and to play both with and against some of the best players and teams in the southern hemisphere.
“I look forward to moving to Western Australia to begin building relationships with my new teammates and coaches alike and to meet the ever-growing Western Force fan base which also includes a strong Irish contingent.”
Head of rugby Matt Hodgson is excited to see the Force attract world class talent, saying it shows the potential and positive development of the club.
“Rob is a fantastic signing, but more than that he is a great person who will be able to bring a lot to WA rugby,” Hodgson stated.
“He is a player of the highest calibre that brings a wealth of experience and quality to the side.
“He also brings a winning mentality, having experienced so much success for his country and Leinster. We can’t wait for the Sea of Blue and the sizeable Irish community within WA to see him pull on the Force jersey next season.”
Kearney will join the club for pre-season later this year.
More player announcements can be expected in the coming weeks.
Rugby Australia Make Significant Cuts
Following the coronavirus pandemic rugby has been hit hard with no way of playing games and now Rugby Australia have been forced into making cuts in order to retain staff in the long-run
Rugby Australia have confirmed that they will be standing down 75% of their staff in a bid to combat the growing struggles that the coronavirus pandemic is causing.
The workers will be released from tomorrow until the 30th of June due to the lack of finances available to Rugby Australia with the Super Rugby season currently on hold and a strong possibility of the Wallabies summer tests being called off.
In the worst case possible the organisation are predicting a loss of $120 million due to the virus and speaking on the latest developments the organisation’s chief executive Raelane Castle admitted this was the toughest decision she and her colleagues had ever had to make.
“Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable to our incredible, hard-working and passionate staff, that many of them will be stood down for a three-month period so that the game can survive this unprecedented crisis. Since the suspension of our proposed domestic Super Rugby competition, we have been working to understand both the immediate and long-term financial implications for the game as a result of the suspension of the competition, and potential further loss of revenue-generating content as we look ahead to the international season. Our extensive modelling shows that as a code, we could lose up to $120 million in revenue should it not be possible for any rugby to be played in 2020. Of course, that is the worst case scenario, and we are very hopeful that we can recommence the Super Rugby season and domestic Wallabies test matches at some point this year. The measures we will implement from April 1, although extremely painful, are necessary to ensure the sport remains financially viable and to ensure that we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully-operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild. It is our priority to keep all of our valued team connected and engaged through this period,” she said.
Castle’s has already taken a 50% pay cut since the crisis began and the rest of Rugby Australia’s executives will have a 30% reduction in pay.
It is a tough call to make in order to preserve rugby in Australia and the fear is that things may get worse with a fear that not all four of the country’s Super Rugby franchises will make it through to next season due to the financial losses.