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Hurricanes land All Blacks XV lock from Crusaders

By Ned Lester
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have landed a big fish in the form of 22-year-old lock Zach Gallagher, who will depart the Crusaders after three impressive seasons with the club.

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The youngster’s form saw him selected in the All Blacks XV at the ripe age of 21 in 2023, one of just two second rowers included in the team selected by former All Blacks boss Ian Foster.

At 197 cm and 117 kg, the Cantabrian adds significant bulk to an already physical Hurricanes pack, while fortifying the club’s future stocks in the position.

“It’s pleasing to be able to add a player like Zach to our roster ahead of 2025. Our coaching staff have worked hard to build a culture where players want to come and be part of the Hurricanes,” Clark Laidlaw said.

“Zach has the attributes to become an outstanding rugby player and is someone which we have identified can add to the size and ability we already have in that area.”

A student at the University of Canterbury, Gallagher said he was excited to get out of his comfort zone and join a new environment in the capital.

“As a born and bred Cantabrian, I was honoured to represent the Crusaders. From speaking to the Hurricanes coaches, I was excited by the opportunity to be able to represent such a fantastic team,” said the lock.

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“They had an outstanding 2024 season and I am thrilled to be able to make the shift to Wellington and work with Bryn and Whoppa (Jamie Mackintosh) after the NPC campaign with Canterbury.”

This news comes just a day after the Hurricanes locked in All Black-in-waiting Peter Lakai on a new deal that will see him remain in yellow through to the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

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Comments

2 Comments
R
Ruby 16 days ago

Definitely a weak area for the Canes, worrying for the crusaders if young players are already trying to get out.

U
Utiku Old Boy 16 days ago

This is a surprise transfer. Hurricanes are definitely on the rise and Gallagher, despite his history with the Crusaders, is a major coup. I thought Walker-Leawere, Delaney, Sangster and the youngster Taula were a pretty good lock contingent for the Canes. So who of those named misses out if Gallagher joins up?

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Tom 41 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, we look much better when Marcus is taking the ball flat and boys are running hard at the line. So frustrating when we're starting to build pressure in the 22 we go back to the grubber kick then find ourselves back on the half way line 10 seconds later. We've shown great success with our box kicking game but we need to leave the flipping grubber kick in the locker room. Like the Marcus Smith hail Mary miss pass that went straight to Mark Telea, we seem to have no patience. Sometimes we just need to recycle the ball and go again. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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