Tasman flyer inks three-year deal with Crusaders
The 19-year-old has been a revelation on the wing for the Mako throughout the 2022 season, scoring eight tries from nine appearances, and will add to the already well-resourced outside back stocks in Christchurch.
Springer was first named as a development player for Tasman in 2021, just one year out of Waimea College, and made a handful of appearances for the Premiership finalists before becoming a full-time squad member this year. Springer also spent time training with the Crusaders this season and has been a part of the Academy set-up throughout 2022.
Springer also represented New Zealand at the Oceania Rugby Under 20s Championship earlier this year, where the Baby Blacks beat Australia 69-12 to take out their fifth title since the tournament first kicked off in 2015. The youngster made three starts in the No 11 jersey throughout the tournament and scored three tries.
Up-and-comer Chay Fihaki recently re-signed with the Crusaders for 2023 while Scott Robertson can also call upon the likes of All Blacks Sevu Reece, Will Jordan, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Braydon Ennor and David Havili in the wider channels.
The Crusaders will reportedly be without George Bridge next season, however, with the former New Zealand representative missing selection for both the All Blacks and the All Blacks XV for their respective end-of-year tours.
With Havili expected to continue to fill the No 12 jersey, however, and Jordan a lock at fullback, it’s Reece, Fainga’anuku and centre-cum-wing Ennor who pose the biggest obstacles to Springer’s quest for game time in 2023.
With a three-year contract locked in, Springer has ample time to force his way into the match-day squad, however, and will certainly spend his formative seasons as a Crusader focussed on learning as much as he can from the side’s experienced backline merchants.
The 2023 Super Rugby Pacific is set to kick off on Friday 3 March with the Crusaders playing host to their southern rivals, the Highlanders.