Northland have made early moves ahead of the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup by signing a first five and a prop.

Jack Debreczeni and Jack Straker will ply their trade in the Cambridge Blue as Northland look to build on a good 2017 season.

The 24-year-old Debreczeni is capable of playing both first five and fullback while Straker will add some more grunt to an impressive front row.

Debreczeni has played Super Rugby for the Melbourne Rebels since 2014, playing 42 games over the last four seasons.


A former Australian Schoolboys representative, Debreczeni is known for his prodigious boot.

More recently he helped the Honda Heat win the 2017-18 Top Challenge League in second-tier domestic competition.

The win secured them promotion to the Top League.

Debreczeni told the Melbourne Rebels Facebook page his time in Japan reinvigorated his passion for the game.

"It was an unreal experience, winning the Challenge Cup there in Japan," he said.

"They'll be promoted to the top league over there next year. They were a great bunch of guys in a semi-professional environment. I found my love for the game a bit again.

"You see guys who work all day and still come to trainings and they love it. It was awesome to be a part of it."

Straker meanwhile made his debut for Canterbury during the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup after being loaned out to Tasman earlier in the campaign.

The 24-year-old front rower will join the engine room and will vie for a starting spot with incumbents Ross Wright and Ropate Rinakama.

Northland will again fight for promotion from the Mitre 10 Cup Championship after losing to eventual champions Wellington in the semifinals.

Northland will take on Manawatu, Southland, Hawke's Bay, Otago, Bay of Plenty and the recently relegated Waikato in their inter-competition matches.

They'll also face four Premiership sides in their 10-game regular season as crossover fixtures: Taranaki (home), Auckland (home), Counties-Manukau (away) and North Harbour (away).

New Zealand Rugby's Head of Provincial Union Rugby Steve Lancaster said these crossover games are exciting with no guarantee the Premiership team will come away with the win.

"As we've seen in the 2017 season, the quality of rugby was outstanding, with some great match-ups between teams from the Premiership and Championship," he said.

"Wellington is a great example of this, beating eventual Premiership winners Canterbury convincingly in a crossover fixture.

"Wellington made the games against Premiership opposition count, winning three of their four crossover fixtures, and eventually earning promotion into the Premiership for 2018."

Current Northland squad: (number of Northland appearances in brackets)
Jordan Olsen (27), Matt Moulds (45), Ropate Rinakama (10), Ross Wright (82), Jack Straker (0), Josh Goodhue (22), Murray Douglas (10), Tom Robinson (5), Matt Matich (19), Kara Pryor (38), Sam Nock (27), Jack Debreczeni (0), Jack Goodhue (9), Scott Gregory (0), Blake Hohaia (5), Tamati Tua (16), Jordan Hyland (29), Jone Macilai (36), Matt Wright (38).