Herring names strong Otago squad
Thursday, July 26, 2018 allblacks.com Getty Images
There was a reason for that. After last season's campaign in which Otago were beaten in the Championship semifinals by Bay of Plenty, the message came through from the squad that they didn't like the side being named so close to the start of the Mitre 10 Cup.
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The late naming affected the start to the season so Herring took it on board in his first season as coach.
As a result, he's prepared six new caps for the campaign ahead while also having eight Super Rugby players to call on.
Herring, who played national provincial championship rugby for Southland and Wellington and Super Rugby for the Highlanders and Hurricanes, moved to England to play for Leicester from 2007-09. But he was forced out of playing the game due to concussion issues and took up coaching, initially with the Leicester club but later with Nottingham, Green Rockets in Japan and Canada in both XVs and Sevens.
All Blacks fullback Ben Smith has been named in the squad but is expected to be unavailable due to international commitments. But other Super Rugby players are Matt Faddes, Michael Collins, Sio Tomkinson, James Lentjes, Josh Dickson, Aki Seiuli and Liam Coltman.
Also in the squad is All Blacks Sevens player Vilimoni Koroi, who was also a member of the New Zealand Under-20s side this year.
STORY | The #RanfurlyShield will be on the line over the next two weeks as @TaranakiRugby look to defend against Poverty Bay and Wanganui.The newcomers are: first five-eighths Finn Strawbridge, loose forward Dylan Nel, tight-loose utilities Sione Misiloi and Joketani Koroi, lock Josh Larsen and prop Tom Hill.
READ ?? https://t.co/76cVdgF9wh pic.twitter.com/KFGwafShkG— Mitre10 Cup (@Mitre10Cup) July 23, 2018
Strawbridge, a Canterbury product, played club rugby in Dunedin for Green Island and is regarded as the back-up to Josh Ioane.
Durban-born Nel has already had a taste of rugby at a higher level having been part of the Crusaders team at the Brisbane 10s this year.
Larsen moved south from Northland in the quest for game time. Hill played for Tasman last season but played his club rugby in Dunedin for Taieri this year.
Missing from the side that played last year are: Fletcher Smith, who has moved to Waikato, Tei Walden who has returned to his home base in Taranaki, Hayden Parker who is playing in Japan, Jonathan Ruru who has decided to stay in Auckland where he has a Blues contract, Dillon Hunt, who has returned to his home base in North Harbour, Blair Tweed who is playing in Japan, Adam Knight who is playing in France and Josh Furno who has moved to Western Australia.
Last year: Losing semifinalist
The squad is: Vilimoni Koroi, Ben Smith, Jona Nareki, Mitch Scott, Josh Timu, Matt Faddes, Michael Collins, Sio Tomkinson, Finn Strawbridge, Josh Ioane, Kurt Hammer, Josh Renton, Dylan Nel, Naulia Dawai, James Lentjes, Slade McDowall, Sione Misiloi, Josh Dickson, Tom Rowe, Joketani Koroi, Josh Larsen, Hisa Sasagi, Aki Seiuli, Tom Hill, Donald Brighouse, Jonah Aiona, Sam Anderson-Heather, Liam Coltman, Sekonaia Pole.
Its been 20 years since Otago made history by winning the 1998 NPC title in a decisive victory at Carisbrook. The Terraces were heaving with the weight of a packed student crowd, and there wasn't a spare seat in... https://t.co/MBRybDta3Y— Otago Rugby (@OtagoRugbyTeam) June 15, 2018
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