Otago possible contenders

Otago possible contenders

The Mitre 10 Cup kicked off over the weekend, with Otago taking on the neighbours from over the border, Southland. Whilst the game took place after Critic went to print, we’re praying that the team managed a win and are nursing a solid hangover this morning. 

The Otago team named this year is largely unchanged from last, with 14 players having played at Super rugby level before. Players such as Matt Faddes, who showed more toe than a roman sandal during the Super season to bag himself countless meat pies, will look to carry on his form throughout the provincial season. 

The squad will also boast over 600 caps between them and will field some highly experienced players throughout the season. In the forwards players such as Liam Coltman, Tom Franklin, and Paul Grant (who is returning from a stint in France), will be able to bring some extra spark to an already strong forward pack. 

The backline will also be anchored by experienced players such as Michael Collins, Tei Walden and Tony Ensor, while Fletcher Smith will also benefit from some great exposure with the Highlanders earlier this year. 

Josh Walden was also a late inclusion in the side and is sure to bring some fire at halfback with a passing game that some call ‘Justin Marshall like’.

Otago 2017 squad

Tony Ensor, Gavin Stark, Fa’asiu Fuata’i, Jack Wilson, Matt Faddes, Michael Collins, Tei Walden, Sio Tomkinson, Fletcher Smith, Scott Eade, Jono Ruru, Kaide Whiting, Paul Grant, Lee Allan, Naulia Dawai, Dillon Hunt, Adam Knight, James Lentjes, Blair Tweed, Tom Franklin, Josh Dickson, Donald Brighouse, Hisa Sasagi, Craig Millar, Aki Seiuli, Liam Coltman, Sam Anderson-Heather.

Otago Fixtures

H - 25 August, 7.35 - Vs. Wellington—Dunedin

H - 31 August 7.35 - Vs. Northland—Dunedin 

A - 4 September 2.35 - Vs. Bay of Plenty—Tauranga 

H- 10 September 2.35 - Vs. Tasman—Dunedin 

H - 17 September 2.35 - Vs. North Harbour—Dunedin 

A - 24 September 2.35 - Vs. Canterbury—Christchurch 

A - 1 October 7.35 - Vs. Auckland—Auckland

H - 8 October 5.35 - Vs. Counties Manukau—Auckland 

A - 14 October 7.35 - Vs. Manawatu—Palmerston North

This article first appeared in Issue 20, 2016.
Posted 10:56am Sunday 21st August 2016 by Hugh Baird.