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Canterbury name experienced squad for ITM Cup defence


The Canterbury Rugby Football Union has announced its squad of 37 for the 2012 ITM Cup. Canterbury is chasing its fifth successive title this season under the new stewardship of Tabai Matson as head coach.

The most capped player in the squad is Wyatt Crockett, who has played 67 games for Canterbury. The least capped is Codie Taylor who was involved in last year’s squad but did not take the field.

Four players will have a good chance of achieving a half century of caps for the red and blacks – Andy Ellis (currently on 49 caps), Sean Maitland (45 caps), Nasi Manu (47 caps) and George Whitelock (47 caps). However there is a mix of experience in the squad, with twelve players who were in the Canterbury squad or wider training group for the first time last year – Dominic Bird, Tyler Bleyendaal, Joel Everson, Paea Fa-anunu, Ben Funnell, Luke Katene, Nepo Laulala, Johnny McNicholl, Joe Moody, Mark Swanepoel, Tom Taylor, Luke Whitelock. Eight of those players, and 29 in the squad in total, were involved in the 2012 Crusaders squad or wider training group.

Canterbury head coach Tabai Matson said he is excited to have such a quality group of players in the squad this year. “I have worked with all of these players previously in some capacity and I know that every one of them will be a very worthy member of the squad. We are lucky to have a pool of such exceptional rugby talent in Canterbury,” Matson said.

Canterbury squad: Dominic Bird, Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Carter, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Andy Ellis, Joel Everson, Paea Fa’anunu, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Robbie Fruean, Ben Funnell, Willi Heinz, Luke Katene, Nepo Laulala, Johnny McNichol, Sean Maitland, Nasi Manu, Richie McCaw, Sam Monaghan, Joe Moody, Brendon O’Connor, Andrew Olorenshaw, Patrick Osborne, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Colin Slade, Mark Swanepoel, Codie Taylor, Tom Taylor, Matt Todd, Telusa Veainu, Adam Whitelock, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Sam Whitelock.

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