Rugby: New boys bolster Auckland

By David Leggat

Daniel Braid. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Daniel Braid. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Five newcomers have been named in Auckland's national championship rugby squad - although one is hardly a new face.

The squad of 27 will be captained once again by former All Black flanker Daniel Braid, and includes four members of the world championship-winning under-20 team.

Backs Gareth Anscombe, Charlie Piutau and Francis Saili are joined by lock Steven Luatua in the group.

The best known new name is All Black halfback Alby Mathewson, who has switched his allegiance from Wellington.

The new squad members also include Tongan winger George Moala, centre Hadleigh Parkes, Saili and first five-eighths Piers Francis.

Auckland are in the premier top seven section of the ITM Cup, as distinct from neighbours North Harbour and Counties Manukau who will begin life in the second tier championship this week.

Auckland's campaign starts against defending cup champions Canterbury at Eden Park on Sunday.

North Harbour visit Otago in the cup opener on Thursday night.

ITM CUP SQUAD

Daniel Braid (c), Brent Ward, Joe Rokocoko, Charlie Piutau, George Moala, Winston Stanley, Benson Stanley, Teddy Stanley, Hadleigh Parkes, Francis Saili, Gareth Anscombe, Piers Francis, Alby Mathewson, Toby Morland, Auvasa Faleali'i, Peter Saili, Sean Polwart, Chris Lowrey, Onosai'i Auva'a, Josh Townsend, Steven Luatua, Tevita Mailau, Angus Ta'avao, Charlie Faumuina, Pauliasi Manu, Ash Dixon, Tom McCartney.

- NZ Herald

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