Half a dozen new players have been named in the Canterbury Men’s NPC squad, these being:
Forwards: Prop Jack Straker and loose forward Jonno Osborne.
Backs: Brett Cameron, Caleb Makene, Josh McKay and Braydon Ennor
Josh McKay and Braydon Ennor were both members of the successful New Zealand Under 20 squad that won the World Championship in Georgia earlier this year.
Ennor was a member of the Canterbury Wider Training Group in 2016.
This season also sees the return of experienced midfielder Tim Bateman to the Canterbury squad. The 30 year-old first made his provincial debut in red and black back in 2006 and played for Wellington, the Hurricanes, and overseas in Japan before returning to join the Crusaders for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
Luke Whitelock is the captain.
24 of the 39-man squad have Super Rugby experience, while 7 of those players will be part of the All Blacks team for the upcoming Investec Rugby Championship.
The Canterbury side travel to Nelson for their first match of the 2017 season, where they will face last year’s beaten Premiership finalists, Tasman. Kick off for the match is scheduled for 7:35pm, Friday 18 August, from Trafalgar Park in Nelson.
Canterbury’s first home fixture will be the following week on Sunday 27 August, when they put the Ranfurly Shield on the line against Otago, 4:35pm at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
Tim Bateman (Christchurch)
Dominic Bird (Lincoln University)
George Bridge HSOB)
Jed Brown (Burnside)
Brett Cameron* (Lincoln University)
Hamish Dalzell (Lincoln University)
Mitchell Drummond (HSOB)
Mitchell Dunshea (Lincoln University)
Ereatara Enari (Lincoln University)
Braydon Ennor* (University)
Kaveinga Finau (Christchurch)
Ben Funnell (HSOB)
Chris Gawler (Lincoln University)
Billy Harmon (New Brighton)
Alex Hodgman (Linwood)
Oliver Jager (New Brighton)
Daniel Lienert-Brown (HSOB)
Caleb Makene* (Lincoln University)
Josh McKay* (Lincoln University)
Richie Mo'unga (Linwood)
Jonno Osborne* (Lincoln University)
Reed Prinsep (HSOB)
Tom Sanders (Lincoln University)
Jack Straker* (Sydenham)
Jack Stratton (Lincoln University)
Marshall Suckling (Sumner)
Rob Thompson (Linwood)
Matt Todd (Christchurch)
Siate Tokolahi (Sydenham)
Nathan Vella (New Brighton)
Poasa Waqanibau (Sumner)
Luke Whitelock (University)
* denotes new player
Canterbury All Blacks:
Wyatt Crockett (Woodend
Ryan Crotty (New Brighton)
Owen Franks (Linwood)
Joe Moody (Lincoln)
Luke Romano (HSOB)
Codie Taylor (Sydenham)
Sam Whitelock (Lincoln University)