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Hurricanes lock up young talent


Hurricanes shore up future by locking in five young talents in signing spree

The Hurricanes have positioned themselves well for the future by signing five of their most promising players for at least the next two seasons.

Promising prop Xavier Numia (20), openside flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi (22), and lock James Blackwell (23) have signed with the club until the end of the 2021 season of two-year deals, while utility back Vince Aso (24), and second-year prop Alex Fidow (21), have signed until the end of the 2022 season on three-year commitments.

Hurricanes general manager of rugby Ben Castle believed the collective signing of the group would greatly benefit the players and the club.

“These players are talented young men with big futures who have been part of the Hurricanes family for some time now. We are very pleased to have them with us for the next few seasons at least,” he said.

“They are all very motivated individuals who have a strong desire to see the Hurricanes succeed.”

Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree was looking forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the players over the next few seasons.

“While our focus is very much on 2019 and getting the job done now, we still have to look closely at the future and locking in this group of players allows us to do that,” he said.

“All of the players we have signed are already contributing a lot to the squad’s performance but the coaching group really believe they can continue to get better and that is something they all want to do.”

Du’Plessis Kirifi has been a ball of energy in his debut Super Rugby season. After exploding for the game-winning try against the Waratahs in Round 1 as an impact substitute, the Hurricanes elevated him into the starting team at openside as part of a dynamic back row. To accommodate him they have moved in-form All Black Ardie Savea to number 8, in a sign of how much regard Kirifi has earned.

The future of the Hurricanes front-row is in safe hands with age-grade reps Xavier Numia and Alex Fidow, both from local Wellington schools. Along with Asafo Aumua, the Hurricanes will be hoping the three will anchor their scrum for years to come.

Utility back Vince Aso, who first joined the Hurricanes in 2015 and scored a then-franchise record 15-tries in a season in 2016,  is closing in on 50 matches for the club. Along with Ngani Laumape, Billy Proctor, Peter Umaga-Jensen, the Hurricanes are not going to be short of firepower in the midfield in the future with the retention of Aso.

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Hurricanes shore up future by locking in five young talents in signing spree