With Jerome Kaino and Wy­att Crock­ett both hav­ing an­nounced their plans to leave Su­per Rugby af­ter this cam­paign, we de­cided to se­lect our Loyal XV.

Two of New Zealand’s long­est-serv­ing vet­er­ans have both de­cided to call it quits af­ter this Su­per Rugby cam­paign. In trib­ute to Wy­att Crock­ett and Jerome Kaino, we have picked New Zealand’s most loyal XV on the cri­te­ria of cur­rent play­ers who have only pl

NZ Rugby World - - Contents -

1 WY­ATT CROCK­ETT [Cru­saders 2006-2018]

Crocky, as he’s af­fec­tion­ately known, will com­plete his 13th and fi­nal sea­son with the Cru­saders this year. He will most likely play a record 200 games for the Cru­saders if he avoids in­jury.

He prob­a­bly would rather have cut his leg off than even think about play­ing for any­one other than the Cru­saders.

2 DANE COLES [Hur­ri­canes 2009 -]

It feels like Colesy has been around for­ever. And he kind of has. He first played for Welling­ton in 2007 and the Hur­ri­canes in 2009. He’s signed through to 2019 and he showed his com­mit­ment to the jer­sey when he played in the 2016 fi­nal with bro­ken ribs.

3 OWEN FRANKS [Cru­saders 2009 -]

Franksy – he’s never called that but if he’s in the fron­trow along­side Crocky and Colesy – first played for the Cru­saders as a 21-year-old back in 2009. He is now the long­est, con­tin­u­ously serv­ing tight-head in New Zealand.

We sus­pect he prob­a­bly sleeps in his Cru­saders jer­sey.

4 LUKE RO­MANO [Cru­saders 2011 -]

He was a late bloomer but still, there aren’t many locks who have been around for longer. He and the Cru­saders have been a neat fit from day one.

5 SAM WHITE­LOCK [Cru­saders 2010 -]

Big Sam is go­ing to be here un­til 2019 at least and we sus­pect for longer still. He’s an­other ded­i­cated one-club man and if any­one is go­ing to beat Crock­ett’s 200 Su­per Rugby games, it will be him.

6 JEROME KAINO [Blues 2006-2018]

But for in­jury, Jerome Kaino would have played for the Blues in 2005. He missed the 2013 sea­son as he was in Ja­pan, but he’s been bash­ing around in that Blues jer­sey for 12 years.

He’s go­ing to be emo­tional when he wears it for the last time.

7 SAM CANE [Chiefs 2011 -]

Lit­tle re­mem­bered fact is that Sam Cane made his de­but for the Chiefs when he was barely 19. Drafted in dur­ing an in­jury cri­sis, he played against the Cru­saders in Napier. And he out­played his op­po­nent that night...one R. McCaw. He is the beat­ing heart of the Chiefs and we sus­pect will be there for an­other five years if not longer.

8 KIERAN READ [Cru­saders 2007 -]

The All Blacks cap­tain prob­a­bly should have gone to the 2007 World Cup. He made his de­but for the Cru­saders that year and was su­perb. He’s been a long time in the pro­fes­sional game here and it has all been given to one club. He says the Cru­saders made him the man and player he is.

9 AARON SMITH [High­landers 2011 -]

It’s easy to think of him as still be­ing a rel­a­tive new­comer, but Smith is now the long­est-serv­ing half­back in New Zealand. He was in the Blues wider squad in 2010 be­fore he was picked up by the High­landers in 2011. Now in his eighth sea­son with the High­landers, he takes on vet­eran sta­tus. He clearly loves the club.

10 BEAU­DEN BAR­RETT [Hur­ri­canes 2011 -]

Like Cane, Bar­rett first played Su­per Rugby be­fore he was ac­tu­ally a con­tracted player. He was used at full­back in 2011 when there were a few in­juries. The Blues have tried to prise him away...but Bar­rett is com­mit­ted to the Hur­ri­canes largely be­cause his fa­ther was, too, play­ing a few sea­sons for them back in the day.

11 JU­LIAN SAVEA [Hur­ri­canes 2011 -]

He’s been a man in de­mand for most of his ca­reer, but Ju­lian Savea has only ever wanted to be a Hur­ri­cane. It’s im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine him play­ing for any other club. The Chiefs tried to sign him last year but he said no chance.

12 GE­ORGE MOALA [Blues 2012 -]

Tim Bate­man has been play­ing Su­per Rugby since 2007 - but not for one club. Ge­orge Moala is the long­est-serv­ing sec­ond five at just one club.

13 RYAN CROTTY [Cru­saders 2009 -]

Crotty grew up in Christchurch and has never wanted to be any­where else. He loves that red jer­sey and has rep­re­sented it so well for al­most 10 sea­sons.

14 IS­RAEL DAGG [Cru­saders 2011 -]

Is­rael Dagg first played Su­per Rugby in 2009 when he was drafted to the High­landers. He spent two years down there be­fore the Cru­saders were able to ac­com­mo­date him and he’s been fiercely loyal ever since.

15 BEN SMITH [High­landers 2009 -]

Ben Smith is quite lu­di­crously de­voted to the High­landers. He grew up in Dunedin and has never con­tem­plated play­ing for any other club than the High­landers. It said ev­ery­thing that he was des­per­ate to play against the Lions last year...for the High­landers..

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.