Waikato Rugby has announced the signing of the international duo of Patrick Osborne and Adam Thomson for the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup season.

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Osborne, a Fijian international winger since 2016, made himself available for his country of birth after he was twice named in an All Blacks training squad in 2014 and 2015 but never selected. Osborne brings plenty of experience to the side, having recorded 42 appearances for Canterbury at a provincial level, on top of the 60 Super Rugby caps for the Chiefs (9) and the Highlanders (51). Osborne managed 33 tries over his first-class appearances, indicating his scoring prowess.

Thomson is a World Cup-winning loose forward, having played for the All Blacks between 2008 and 2012, amassed a total of 31 appearances and 30 points for the national side. He also has plenty of provincial and Super Rugby experience, having played 62 times for Otago in the national provincial competition and this season became a Super Rugby centurion reaching this total with four different franchises, the Highlanders (67), Reds (15), Rebels (13) and Chiefs (5).

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Waikato head coach Andrew Strawbridge said, “We are pleased to welcome both Patrick and Adam to the Waikato team for the upcoming 2020 Season. Both players are very experienced hardworking leaders and have the versatility to cover several positions in our squad.

“Their experience will be vital for the younger members of our squad to help them learn and grow; we believe they will fit seamlessly into the team for this season.”

Osborne and Thomson join Liam Messam as exceptionally experienced signings for the year while the likes of Julian Savea and Kieran Read have also returned to New Zealand to play provincial rugby in 2020.

Waikato will announce the full Mitre 10 Cup squad next Tuesday.

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– with Waikato Rugby

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