Three additional Hawke's Bay Magpies will be looking to get on the pitch in the upcoming Super Rugby season having signed contracts as injury cover.
Midfielder Neria Fomai has joined the Blues, prop Joe Apikotoa the Chiefs, and first-five/fullback Caleb Makene the Highlanders in addition to the 12 Magpies players named in the five New Zealand franchises' initial squads in December.
Hawke's Bay also had two players named in the All Blacks Sevens squad on Friday, with veteran Kurt Baker and Ollie Sapsford retaining their places six months out from the Tokyo Olympics.
The signings and selections reflect the strong individual performances of the players, as well as the excellent season the province had as a collective.
Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union Inc commercial manager Dan Somerville said the Magpies enjoyed the highest game attendance and highest television viewership numbers of all the teams in the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup, figures New Zealand Rugby have not yet released.
Somerville said the figures, which were given to the union, are useful to give sponsors a perspective on how many people see their involvement, but more so measures the level of community engagement.
"Hawke's Bay has a loyal, enthusiastic, passionate bunch of fans who get behind their team," he said.
Somerville said the union knows they will always get a baseline crowd, with an extra few thousand spectators turning up depending on variables like the opponent, the weather and the time of the game.
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He added that interest in the Magpies has been trending up over the past few years - unlike other professional rugby teams around the country - for a number of reasons, including the team getting better and better.
In their third season under head coach Mark Ozich, the Hawke's Bay Magpies won the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup Championship and the Ranfurly Shield.