Mitre 10 Cup
Head coach Clayton McMillan has named 14 new players in the 2016 Bay of Plenty Steamers squad for the upcoming 2016 Mitre 10 Cup season.
McMillan believes they have assembled a squad with a good blend of enthusiastic debutants and experience, with 24 capped players in the team.
"We've selected an outstanding group of men, hardworking, competitive, and highly motivated to perform," McMillan said.
"The 14 new faces, will give us an exciting blend of youth and experience and importantly, depth throughout."
There are 24 players returning to the Steamers which include Italian international Kelly Haimona and Rio-bound All Black Sevens player Teddy Stanaway.
The most capped player is Culum Retalick with 92 games in the blue and yellow stripes.
The new players selected in the Steamers squad, including four other international sevens players in Joe Webber, Regan Ware, Isaac Te Aute and Hugh Blake, will be expected to make their Mitre 10 Cup debut this season.
Ten of the twelve Baywide Premier club sides are represented within the 37-man squad.
"This team represents our region. The quality of club rugby has improved, and as a result, we have a competition that's going down to the wire and brought a lot of excitement back to our club scene," McMillan said.
"The by-product of that is more players have been given an opportunity to shine, and this is reflected in the final squad.
"The team understand the demands and challenges ahead but have prepared accordingly and are ready to meet those challenges head on.
"We are not a team of household names but are determined to create a legacy of success, bring some mana back to the jersey, and earn the respect of our supporters and stakeholders by playing a brand of rugby synonymous with the Bay of Plenty."
Bay of Plenty Rugby CEO Mike Rogers says the Mitre 10 Cup is the toughest provincial rugby competition in the world.
"Every year it throws up some amazing new young talent. The tradition and pride associated with representing your community is hugely important to everyone involved," he said.
"The Bay of Plenty is a fantastic region and we are determined to show the rest of the country how proud we are of the Bay."
2016 Bay of Plenty Steamers Squad:
*Indicates new cap
Nathan Harris - Te Puke Sports (26), Liam Polwart* - Greerton Marist, Joseph Royal - Rotoiti (29), Sabastian Siataga - Mount Maunganui (8)
Siegfried Fisi'ihoi - Rotoiti (18), Jordan Lay* - Whakarewarewa, Aidan Ross - Te Puke Sports (3), Solomona Sakalia - Mount Maunganui (19), Pingi Tala'apitaga - Tauranga Sports (34), Jeff Thwaites - Te Puna (6)
Troy Callander - Greerton Marist (7), Shahn Eru - Te Puna (7), Keepa Mewett - Tauranga Sports (17), Culum Retallick - Tauranga Sports (92)
Matty Axtens* - Mount Maunganui, Hugh Blake* - Te Puke Sports, Sam Cane - Tauranga Sports (18), Mitchell Karpik* - Mount Maunganui, Jesse Parete* - Arataki, Henry Stowers* - Arataki, Eru Wano-Smith* - Whakarewarewa, Joe Tupe - Greerton Marist (23)
Luke Campbell* - Te Puke Sports, Ruki Tipuna - Rangataua (12), Te Aihe Toma - Te Puna (25)
Kelly Haimona - Whakarewarewa (15), Dan Hollinshead - Te Puke Sports (19)
Lalakai Foketi - Rangataua (10), Terrence Hepetema - Te Puna (1), Teddy Stanaway - Mount Maunganui (1), Joe Webber* - Te Puke Sports
Te Rangi Fraser - Whakarewarewa (10), Monty Ioane* - Greerton Marist, Elijah Nicholas - Whakatane Marist (6), Chase Tiatia - Rangataua (11), Isaac Te Aute* - Mount Maunganui, Regan Ware* - Arataki
Injury Cover: Hooker
Leigh Hughes* - Mount Maunganui
Head Coach: Clayton McMillan
Assistant Coach: Rodney Gibbs
Assistant Coach: David Hill
Manager: Wayne Brill
Strength and Conditioning Trainer: Brad Mayo
Physiotherapist: Damian Banks
Assistant Physiotherapist: Corey Stunell
Doctor: Turuki Tahuri
Video Analyst: Mark Roberts