There may have been two shock Super Rugby signings over the past 48 hours with the return of Aaron Cruden to the Chiefs and England midfielder Joe Merchant signing with the Blues, but the Hurricanes haven’t joined in on the act.
Tomorrow marks the announcement of the five Kiwi Super Rugby squads for the 2020 season, and former Hurricanes and All Blacks wing Cory Jane took the opportunity to spark a frenzy on social media by tweeting that his former club and international teammate Julian Savea would be returning to Wellington next year.
“Gotta let the cat out of the bag but can’t wait to see you (@juliansavea7) back with the Canes this season,” he posted.
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The 29-year-old has been plying his trade with Toulon in the Top 14 since leaving New Zealand last year, which brought an end to his 116-match career as a Hurricane, and 54-cap stint with the All Blacks.
Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee confirmed to Stuff that Savea wouldn’t be returning to New Zealand’s capital as he serves the second of his two-year deal with Toulon, and labelled Jane, who acts as an assistant coach to the Wellington Mitre 10 Cup squad, as a “comedian”.
That didn’t stop Twitter users from falling for Jane’s satirical post.
“Wahoo.. The Big Bus is back,” one user replied.
“Wow, really, how good is that, fantastic news,” another wrote.
Even Savea poked fun Jane’s tweet, replying: “I’ll come back when you play again…. oh wait…. ??”
I’ll come back when you play again…. oh wait…. ?? https://t.co/IdpQWMQr5k
The Hurricanes have publicly announced five new signings for next season, with the most significant capture being that of one-test All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax, who is moving north from the Highlanders after a two-year stay in Dunedin.
Other new men in John Plumtree’s side includes ex-Blues duo Scott Scrafton and Murphy Taramai and former Chiefs halfback Jonathan Taumateine, who will compete with Manawatu star Jamie Booth for playing time as the 25-year-old returns to the franchise after spending last season in Japan with the Sunwolves.
He is one of 10 players who have already confirmed that they won’t be coming back to the Hurricanes next year, but those gaps in the roster will be filled by younger players who have impressed at provincial level.
The full squads for all five New Zealand franchises are expected to be named at around 8:30pm (NZT) on Tuesday evening.
Confirmed Hurricanes 2019-20 Transfers
Out: Beauden Barrett (Blues), Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Mitsubishi DynaBoars), Finlay Christie (Blues), Chris Eves (San Diego Legion), Sam Henwood (NEC Green Rockets), Richard Judd (Suntory Sungoliath), Sam Lousi (Scarlets), Nehe Milner-Skudder (Toulon), Matt Proctor (Northampton Saints), Jeff Toomaga-Allen (Wasps)
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