Bay of Plenty Steamers squad named
Bay of Plenty Steamers Head coach Clayton McMillan has named his 2020 Mitre 10 Cup squad today and is excited with the squad he and his assistant coaches have assembled.
“Off the back of last year’s highly successful campaign, our immediate priority was retaining the bulk of that squad which we managed to achieve.
"That enabled us to be very deliberate in filling the remaining spots with player profiles that either compliment or bring something unique to our established roster.
"There is genuine depth in most positions, which I think is critical to a team’s success in what is a short but arduous competition.
"More importantly, I know this group is extremely grateful to be playing rugby given the unprecedented challenges we have all been facing due to COVID-19, and will be giving their all to bring some joy to our wider community, sponsors and whanau."
The 2020 squad features many familiar faces from the winning 2019 Championship side; Ross Geldenhuys who brings his dominant scrum skill set, Chase Tiatia with his magic flare, the warrior spirit of Luke Campbell and Dan Hollinshead’s ability to navigate the team on the pitch.
Notable additions to this year's team include Blues player Otere Black and Chiefs player Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.
Black returns to his tribal roots after forging a provincial career in Manawatu.
A Super Rugby and Maori All Black stalwart, Otere is a tactically astute game driver who will add considerable value to the team and mentorship to our rising young stars.
Tahuriorangi has also made the move back home to the Bay this season after playing for Taranaki for the previous five seasons.
The three-test halfback says spending more time with his young family was a strong motivation for his switch back to the Bay.
The 2020 squad also sees the return of Kurt Eklund, Emoni Narawa, Aaron Carroll, Kaleb Trask and Jeff Thwaites all of whom picked up Super Rugby contracts after their 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season.
All Black 7’s players Scott Curry and Sam Dickson are set to make their debut for the Steamers this season, alongside 7’s team mates and current Steamers Joe Webber and Regan Ware.
The Steamers coaching team have named Aidan Ross as their Steamers captain for the 2020 season.
Ross is looking forward to leading the team for a second year in a row, with added excitement of playing in the Premiership.
"We topped off our Mitre 10 Cup season last year, gaining promotion to the Premiership division. I know the boys are excited to pull on the Bay jersey again this year and kick off the competition."
The Steamers hosted a pre-season hit out with a game of three halves against Counties Manukau in Whakatane on Saturday with the game being played under COVID-19 Level 2 restrictions which meant no crowds were allowed.
It was the Steamers one and only pre-season game of the season and allowed the team a chance to gel and trial new combinations, while also giving the coaches the difficult task of selecting the team for this Sunday’s season opener match against Taranaki at 2.05pm at TET Stadium & Events Centre in Inglewood.
Bay of Plenty Steamers squad:
Aaron Carroll - Lock (Mount Maunganui)
Aidan Ross - Prop (Te Puke Sports)
Chase Tiatia - Utility Back (Rangataua)
Cole Forbes - Fullback (Te Puke Sports)
Dan Hollinshead - First Five-Eighth (Te Puke Sports)
Emoni Narawa - Wing (Tauranga Sports)
Fa'asiu Fuatai - Wing (Rangataua)
Haereiti Hetet - Prop (Mount Maunganui)
Hugh Blake - Loose Forward (Mount Maunganui)
Jeff Thwaites - Prop (Te Puna)
Joe Johnston - Loose Forward (Te Puke Sports)
Joe Webber - Wing (Rangiuru)
Joe Tupe - Number 8 (Greerton Marist)
Jordan Lay - Prop (Whakarewarewa)
Kaleb Trask - First Five-Eighth (Tauranga Sports)
Kane Le'aupepe - Lock (Te Puke Sports)
Keepa Mewett - Lock (Tauranga Sports)
Kurt Eklund - Hooker (Mount Maunganui)
Lalomilo Lalomilo - Utility Back (Te Puke Sports)
Leroy Carter - Halfback (Tauranga Sports)
Luke Campbell - Halfback (Te Puke Sports)
Mathew Skipwith-Garland - Midfield Back (Whakarewarewa)
Mitchell Karpik - Loose Forward (Rangataua)
Nathan Vella - Hooker (Rangataua)
Nathan Harris - Hooker (Te Puke Sports)
Nic Souchon - Hooker (Tauranga Sports)
Otere Black - First Five-Eighth (Ruatoki)
Regan Ware - Wing (Rangiuru)
Ross Geldenhuys - Prop (Rangiuru)
Sam Cane - Loose Forward (Reporoa)
Sam Dickson - Number 8 (Rangiuru)
Scott Curry - Midfield Back (Mount Maunganui)
Stan van den Hoven - Lock (Greerton Marist)
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - Halfback (Rotoiti)
Tevita Mafileo - Prop (Tauranga Sports)
Zane Kapeli - Loose Forward (Te Puna)
Bay of Plenty Management team:
Head Coach: Clayton McMillan
Assistant Coach: Mike Rogers
Assistant Coach: Mike Delany
Assistant Coach: Marty Bourke
Manager: Wayne Brill
Head Strength & Conditioning Trainer: Thomas Stebbling
Assistant Strength & Conditioning Trainer: Scott Joblin
Intern Strength & Conditioning Trainer: Baden Wardlaw
Physio: Heiner Otumuli
Doctor: Dr Andrew Tai Kie
GPS Analyst: Conor McNeill
Bay of Plenty Steamers home games:
Bay of Plenty v Southland, Saturday 19th September, 7.05pm, Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua (double header with Bay of Plenty Volcanix)
Bay of Plenty v Auckland, Friday 2nd October, 7.05pm, Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Bay of Plenty v Canterbury, Saturday 24th October, 2.05pm, Tauranga Domain, Tauranga
Bay of Plenty v Hawke’s Bay, Sunday 1st November, 2.05pm, Tauranga Domain, Tauranga
Bay of Plenty v North Harbour, Sunday 15th November, 2.05pm, Tauranga Domain, Tauranga
Click here to view the full 2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw.
Tickets are on sale now through TicketMaster (Rotorua International Stadium games) and Dash Tickets (Tauranga Domain games). Click here to purchase tickets.