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Super Rugby Aupiki squads confirmed for 2024 season

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

After losing last season’s Super Rugby Aupiki decider by an agonising margin of just two points, Chiefs Manawa have made some stunning off-season signings as they look to return to champions status in 2024.

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Grace Steinmetz and Renee Holmes have both left reigning champions Matatu for the Chiefs. Holmes is an especially intriguing addition with the Black Ferns fullback scoring 23 points in the last season’s final.

Fan favourite Ruby Tui will also enter the fray of Super Rugby Aupiki for the first time after signing with the Chiefs, while Chelsea Semple is another big-name addition.

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Black Ferns Ariana Bayler and Krystal Murray complete what would have to be considered a masterful recruitment drive from last season’s runners-up.

Elsewhere in Aotearoa, New Zealand international Kaipo Olsen-Baker has made the move from the Hurricanes Poua to Matatu, while Black Ferns Sevens great Niall Williams-Guthrie joins the Blues.

Fiji’s Bitila Tawake and Japan’s Seina Saito have joined the Chiefs, and Charlotte Woodman will don Matatu’s colours after moving south from Exeter Chiefs in England.

“It’s great to see so many strong performers from the Farah Palmer Cup rewarded with their first contracts,” New Zealand Rugby’s Women’s High Performance Manager, Hannah Porter, said in a statement.

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“This competition is proving to be a great stepping stone for our players as they strive for higher honours and with the extended preparation window for our players, we are looking forward to seeing the positive influence that will have on the competition.”

2024 Sky Super Rugby Aupiki squads
Blues: Kahlia Awa, Eloise Blackwell, Dajian Brown, Sylvia Brunt, Rebecca Burch, Krysten Cottrell, Ruahei Demant, Esther Faiaoga-Tilo, Sophie Fisher, Grace Gago, Aldora Itunu, Kerri Johnson, Jaymie Kolose, Patricia Maliepo, Paris Mataroa, Charmaine McMenamin, Angelica Mekemeke Vahai, Liana Mikaele Tu’u, Elizabith Moimoi, Daynah Nankivell, Alakoka Po’oi, Mel Puckett, Maddi Robinson, Maiakawanakaulani Roos, Cheyenne Tuli-Fale, Tara-Leigh Turner, Katelyn Vahaakolo, Maama Vaipulu, Chryss Viliko and Niall Williams-Guthrie

Chiefs Manawa: Reese Anderson, Mia Anderson, Ariana Bayler, Chelsea Bremner, Luka Connor, Georgia Thompson (nee Daals), Ashlee Gaby-Sutherland, Kate Henwood, Chyna Hohepa, Renee Holmes, Tanya Kalounivale, Grace Kukutai, Azalleyah Maaka, Victoria Makea, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Krystal Murray, Apii Nicholls, Merania Parone, Mererangi Paul, Te Uru Pounamu McGarvey, Vici-Rose Green, Seina Saito, Chelsea Semple, Kennedy Simon, Charmaine Smith, Grace Steinmetz, Bitila Tawake, Hazel Tubic, Ruby Tui, Olive Watherston

Hurricanes Poua: Shakira Baker, Tamia Edwards, Maddie Feaunati, Teilah Fergusson, Rhiarna Ferris, Te Rauoriwa Gapper, Leilani Hakiwai, Iritana Hohaia, Tori Iosefo, Harmony Kautai, Hannah King, Marilyn Fanoga (nee Live), Paige Lush, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Te Uarangi Olsen-Baker, Jackie Patea-Fereti, Leilani Perese, Elinor Plum-King, Cilia-Marie Po’e-Tofaeono, Holly-Rae Mete, Rachael Rakatau, Layla Sae, Rangimarie Sturmey, Kahurangi Sturmey, Monica Tagoai, Kalyn Takitimu-Cook, Samantha Taylor, Cristo Tofa, Isabella Waterman

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Matat?: Laura Bayfield, Alana Bremner, Grace Brooker, Georgia Cormick, Cheyenne Cunningham, Emma Dermody, Eilis Doyle, Amy du Plessis, Di Hiini, Tegan Hollows, Lucy Jenkins, Maia Joseph, Rosie Kelly, Atlanta Lolohea, Pip Love, Martha Mataele, Liv McGoverne, Leah Miles, Stacey Niao, Kaipo Olsen Baker, Winnie Palamo, Moomooga (Ashley) Palu, Marcelle Parkes, Georgia Ponsonby, Kendra Reynolds, Chey Robins-Reti, Amy Rule, Fiaali’i Solomona, Charlotte Woodman, Holly Wratt-Groeneweg

Black Ferns unavailable for selection: Awhina Tangen-Wainohu, Santo Taumata, Kelsie Thwaites, Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Natalie Delamare

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Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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