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Hurricanes announce signing of ex-Chiefs youngster Bailyn Sullivan

By Alex McLeod
(Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have confirmed the signing of former Chiefs utility back Bailyn Sullivan on a one-year deal ahead of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.


The Wellington-based franchise announced the deal shortly after the Chiefs published a statement that Sullivan had been released by the Hamilton side.

It brings an end to the 23-year-old’s four-season affiliation with the Chiefs, who he debuted for as a teenager during the team’s 61-10 victory over the Sunwolves in Tokyo in 2018.

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Akira Ioane on his barnstorming game against the Wallabies in Bledisloe III

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Akira Ioane on his barnstorming game against the Wallabies in Bledisloe III

Sullivan will now open the next chapter of his Super Rugby career with the Hurricanes, who have been busy with their off-season recruitment.

By signing the former New Zealand U20 representative, the Hurricanes now have five new faces in their ranks for the revamped competition.

Joining Sullivan as the newbies in Jason Holland’s squad are All Blacks centurion Owen Franks, ex-All Blacks lock Dominic Bird, former Blues flanker Blake Gibson and New Zealand U20 first-five Aidan Morgan.

Current All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara, meanwhile, will also return to the squad next season after taking this year off to play for Top League club NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan.


In a statement, Holland said he was excited by the arrival of Sullivan, who will compete with the likes of Peter Umaga-Jensen and Billy Proctor for a place in the midfield.

“It’s brilliant that Bailyn will be joining us and competing for a midfield spot in our backline,” Holland said.

“He grew up in Hawke’s Bay and was an outstanding schoolboy talent who has had limited opportunity in Super Rugby thus far.

“I have kept an eye on him. He is a fast and powerful centre who has the ability to beat defenders and offload. He is a very solid defender who will fit nicely into our defensive structures.”


Sullivan, the older brother of Blues starlet Zarn, added that although he is disappointed to leave the Chiefs, the move south to the Kiwi capital is the right one for him.

“I’ve always been a fan of the Hurricanes, and, although I’m sad to leave the Chiefs because of the opportunity they’ve given me to kick start my Super Rugby career, I’m really excited to be part of the Canes whanau,” he said.

“I think it will be a good fit for me. In the past, I’ve played alongside some of these guys and created some good friendships there, so I’m excited to be able to get out there with them.”

“I think this will be an awesome opportunity to see rugby through the perspective of another team, to work with a new bunch of players and coaches.”

Hurricanes 2021-22 transfers

In: Dominic Bird (Racing 92), Owen Franks (Northampton Saints), Blake Gibson (Blues), Aidan Morgan (Wellington), Bailyn Sullivan (Chiefs)

Out: Vince Aso (Saitama Wild Knights), Vaea Fifita (Wasps), Ngani Laumape (Stade Francais), Ricky Riccitelli (Blues)


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