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Hurricanes look to future as trio of youngster re-commit to the franchise

By Online Editors
Chase Tiatia. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes have secured the futures of Liam Mitchell, Chase Tiatia and Danny Toala by signing the trio of youngster to two-year contract extensions.

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All three players have been signed until the end of the 2021 Super Rugby season in a move which will continue to bolster the Hurricanes’ youthful stocks after Vince Aso, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Alex Fidow, James Blackwell and Xavier Numua all re-committed to the franchise in recent times.

For Tiatia and Mitchell, their contract extensions come as reward for eye-catching rookie seasons with the club.

Tiatia, who wasn’t initially contracted as a full squad member for the 2019 campaign, has been in superb form for the Wellington-based side since coming into the team as injury cover.

Since his debut against the Brumbies in round three, the 23-year-old has made the starting fullback role his own, forcing All Blacks starlet Jordie Barrett into other positions such as wing and in the midfield.

Mitchell has been a constant figure in the Hurricanes’ pack, having played in every match this season, starting in all but two fixtures.

The 23-year-old’s presence in the second row has been recognised as he stands as a firm candidate for the inaugural New Zealand Super Rugby Rookie of the Year award, sitting in second-equal spot for the award with seven points to his name.

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While he is yet to make his Super Rugby debut despite being named on the bench for the Hurricanes’ clash against the Stormers in round six, Toala has been earmarked as one for the future after coming through the national secondary school ranks with Hastings Boys’ High School and the New Zealand Schools side in 2017.

The 20-year-old outside back has featured prominently for the Hurricanes Hunters – the franchise’s reserve side – and for the club’s Under 20 team, and is expected to play an integral role with the senior side in the coming years.

“It is really pleasing for the club to announce further signings,” Hurricanes general manager of rugby Ben Castle said in a statement on Wednesday.

“These players have great futures ahead and we are delighted they will be part of the Hurricanes family over the next few seasons.”

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Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree echoed Castle’s sentiments, saying the three signings add stability to the Hurricanes’ squad after this year’s World Cup.

“We know a lot of players move on during a Rugby World Cup cycle so it is really important to have a group of players who want to establish themselves in the Hurricanes jersey and play a big part in our plans moving forward,” he said.

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