Canterbury ITM Cup squad named
Canterbury ITM Cup coach Tabai Matson has named his squad for the 2012 season which begins this week.
In his first season at the helm of the powerhouse provincial side, Matson has named a strong line-up of players which is relatively unchanged from the side that claimed a fourth successive title last year.
Boasting a number of Crusaders and current and former All Blacks, the Canterbury side looks to have strength across the paddock and Matson is very happy with the group of players he has down on paper.
"I have worked with all of these players previously in some capacity and I know that every one of them will be a very worthy member of the squad,'' Matson said.
"We are lucky to have a pool of such exceptional rugby talent in Canterbury.''
Despite being on international duty, and with chances slim they will be available to play, Matson has named seven current All Blacks in his squad - including Luke Romano, who was a prominent figure in last year's squad.
Twenty-nine players in the squad were involved in the Crusaders 2012 squad or wider training group.
Prop Wyatt Crockett will hold the mantle of most experienced player with 67 games for Canterbury, while Andy Ellis will get a chance to achieve a notable milestone of 50 games for the province should he take the field when they play Tasman in Nelson on Friday night in the season opener.
The 2012 Canterbury ITM Cup squad
Dominic Bird, Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty. Andy Ellis, Joel Everson, Paea Fa'anunu, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Robbie Fruean, Ben Funnell, Willi Heinz, Luke Katene, Nepo Laulala, Johnny McNichol, Sean Maitland, Nasi Manu, Richie McCaw, Sam Monaghan, Joel Moody, Brendon O'Connor, Andrew Olorenshaw, Patrick Osborne, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Colin Slade, Mark Swanepoel, Codie Taylor, Tom Taylor, Matt Todd, Telusa Veainu, Adam Whitelock, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock and Sam Whitelock.
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