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Super Rugby – The Ins & Outs

Full list of transfers for each Super Rugby side ahead of the 2019 season.

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Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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:

BLUES

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.

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In

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)

Out

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)

BRUMBIES

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.

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In


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)

Out

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)

VODACOM BULLS

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.

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In

Schalk Brits (Saracens)
Stedman Gans (Sevens)
Cornal Hendricks (free agent)
Dylan Sage (sevens)
Paul Schoeman (Cheetahs)
Rosko Specman (Sevens)
Muller Uys (Western Province)
Duane Vermeulen (Toulon)

Out

Shaun Adendorff (Aurillac)
Francois Brummer (Zebre)
Ruben van Heerden (Sharks)
Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh)
Adriaan Strauss (retired)
Dries Swanepoel (Cheetahs)
Jamba Ulengo (released)

CHIEFS

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.

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In


Jack Debreczeni (Rebels)
Tumua Manu (Blues)
Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato)
Ataata Moeakiola (Tokai)
Reuben O’Neill (Taranaki)

Out

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)

CRUSADERS

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.

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In

Whetu Douglas (Treviso)
Ere Enari (Canterbury)
Leicester Fainga’anuku (Tasman)
Ngane Punivai (Canterbury)

Out

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)

HIGHLANDERS

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.

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In

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)

Out


Alex Ainley (Tasman)
Guy Millar (Biarritz)
Greg Pleasants-Tate (Canterbury)
Dan Pryor (Sunwolves)
Josh Renton (Otago)
Fletcher Smith (Hurricanes)
Lima Sopoaga (Wasps)

HURRICANES

There are a few big name departures from the Hurricanes ahead of the 2019 season that include Brad Sheilds, Julian Savea and Ihaia West. They have aquired the services once again of talented utility back James Marshall following a stint in Europe.

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In

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)

Out

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)

JAGUARES

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.

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In

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)

Out

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)

LIONS

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.

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In


Danie Mienie (Toulouse)

Out

Ruan Dreyer (Gloucester)
Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Sale Sharks)
Marco Jansen van Vuuren (sevens)
Jaco Kriel (Gloucester)
Franco Mostert (Gloucester)
Jacques van Rooyen (Bath)

REBELS

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.

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In


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)

Out

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)

REDS

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.

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In

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)

Out

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)

SHARKS

The retirements of Keegan Daniel and Michael Claassens are the main squad movement headlines ahead of the 2019 season.

In


Ruben van Heerden (Bulls)

Out

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)

STORMERS

In


Ruhan Nel (sevens)

Out

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)

SUNWOLVES

Some good business for the Sunwolves sees former All Black Rene Ranger link up with the Japanese outfit ahead of the 2019 season.

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In

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)

Out

Nika Khatiashvili (Angoulême)

WARATAHS

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.

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In


Adam Ashley-Cooper

Karmichael Hunt (Reds)

John Folau (Sydney Rays)
Rory O’Connor (Sydney Rays)
Le Roux Roets (Pumas)

Out

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.

Premiership

Saracens Set to Land South African Starlet

Saracens have had their struggles of late but it appears as though despite everything they remain active in the transfer market and are preparing to sign one of South Africa’s brightest stars

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Saracens are in advanced talks with young South African forward Cobus Wiese from the Stormers it has been revealed and his signing could benefit England too.

With the South African side struggling with cash at the moment, losing a host of their star players in recent times, the English Premiership giants are preparing to swoop in for another, with it believed that the utility forward to sign a five-year contract. 

At 22, the forward has been a regular for both the Stormers and Western Province over the past two years and if he does put pen to paper on the deal it would see him become available for England during his career. 

The London-based side have had a rough few days being handed a £5.3 million fine and being deducted 35 points in the Premiership for a breach of salary cap rules, but while that is being appealed, the club seem likely to continue their transfer business as usual. 

While for Saracens it would be a massive coup to sign Wiese, for the Stormers it would be a huge loss as they have already lost World Cup winners Eben Etzebeth and Damian de Allende, as well as other players such as Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Corne Fourie and EW Viljoen among others due to the current crisis at the franchise. 

The Stormers have been struggling through their pre-season so far as a host of their players are on loan abroad and they await the returns of some of their World Cup stars. 

They should be boosted by the returns of captain Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Herschel Jantjies, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe and recent World Player of the Year winner Pieter-Steph du Toit, who are all set to come back to the franchise come mid-December. 

However, the loss of another player and a rising star could not only be a blow for the club but for the Springboks in the future.

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Super Rugby

Chiefs Not Concerned by Cruden’s Injury History

The Chiefs are ready to welcome back former All Blacks out-half Aaron Cruden to the franchise and have reiterated that they are not worried by his recent injury catalogue

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(Photo credit JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Super Rugby outfit the Chiefs are not worried about returning star Aaron Cruden’s recent injury history according to CEO Michael Collins.

The 30-year-old fly-half is set to return to the Hamilton-based franchise on a one-year deal, having previously spent six seasons with them and winning two titles before a move to French giants Montpellier. 

However, since his move to the Top 14 side the former All Black has picked up a number of injuries, including a calf problem that has caused him to miss large amounts of playing time, but Collins insists that the club are certain he will move to them and remain fit throughout. 

“We’ve spoken to Aaron and watched some of his games, and a couple of the injuries he did suffer in France were contact injuries and we always knew he was going to come right. the driver for us was he has such a history with the Chiefs, he’s a world-class first five-eighth, we’ve got some really good young backs coming through and we thought his recruitment would serve two purposes – to help drive the team round the field, and also to be an older voice and someone for those younger players to learn off. know that he’s going to come in fit and healthy, so we thought it’d be better to get his family settled, focus on that, then join the team after the Christmas break,” he said while speaking to Stuff. 

Cruden, who won 50 international caps for New Zealand before his switch to Europe, including appearances against the British and Irish Lions, will hope to put his own injury issues aside when he returns in January as his side look to start their campaign on a positive note. 

The Chiefs and Cruden kick-off their Super Rugby campaign on January 31st 2020 when they take on the Blues at Eden Park and Collins will be hoping his playmaker will be ready. 

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Rugby Championship

SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion

Following their hugely impressive Rugby World Cup performances from Japan SANZAAR are set to not only consider the team’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship but are also to reconsider the Sunwolves future according to reports

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Japanese rugby franchise the Sunwolves could be set for a return to Super Rugby as well as the national side having a chance to compete in the Rugby Championship according to a report from Newshub.

Following Japan’s brilliant World Cup campaign where they reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, SANZAAR are apparently set to consider bringing the country into the Rugby Championship to help them develop their game. 

The report claims that SANZAAR are set to meet in Tokyo on Friday where they will also discuss the possibility of reintroducing the Sunwolves to Super Rugby. 

Speaking to Newshub, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper is hoping that Japan will be able to compete at the highest level and rues the fact that the Nations Championship proposal was shut down. 

“Certainly if I was in their shoes I’d be very keen to have Japan in my competition sooner rather than later. That’s entirely their call. We proposed a nations championship that had Japan very much playing at the top table and maybe they’ll see it that way for their own particular championship” he said. 

The inclusion of the Sunwolves would be huge for Japan after the franchise failed to agree a new contract with SANZAAR to extend their time in the competition where they have only won eight of 62 games since 2016. 

However, considering the success of the national side this tournament it seems only fair that they should be given a chance to continue their development to the top tier and that will only happen if their players are playing against the best week in week out. 

The Japanese were unfortunate to go down 26-3 to the Springboks on Saturday in the quarter-finals, but following their incredible performances where they played a fast and exciting style of rugby, earning many fans worldwide, people will hope that this is only the beginning of their rugby story.

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