Big signings all round in Super Rugby
Wed, 31 Oct 2012 6:43p.m.
By Hamish McKay
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has lured big name All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Tony Woodcock south, but Woodcock’s arrival means no guaranteed game time for Jamie Macintosh, who is replaced as captain by Andrew Hore.
“The decision to choose Hore for us is, he's quite a natural leader, he's from down here, he's captained the All Blacks - its pretty obvious,” says Joseph.
All Black Adam Thomson’s name is missing, though Joseph came close to getting his signature.
“He was close to coming back until he got an opportunity to go somewhere else,” says Joseph.
As the Crusaders' Jordan Taufua comes in while Richie McCaw is on a six month sabbatical, his replacement is coming to a Crusaders team with otherwise few changes as they look to break a five-year title drought. Lock Dom Bird is a newcomer of real promise.
Mark Hammett’s Hurricanes promise much in 2013, and ITM Cup standout Ardie Savea joins his older brother All Black wing Julian.
“It’s going to be weird this year because the guys he hangs out with are some of the boys I hang out with,” says Ardie.
Last year he was a schoolboy performing a haka for the All Blacks, but his ITM Cup form is no surprise to his big brother.
“I knew he was going good, but he exceeded that really , he had an awesome season in the ITM so for him to get a contract was awesome, the family’s very proud,” says Julian.
The champion Chiefs have lost Sonny Bill Williams, but his departure will be offset somewhat by the return of Richard Kahui, who missed most of 2012 with a shoulder injury.
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