Mitre 10 Cup Preview: Waikato 2020

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Coach: Andrew Strawbridge

Home ground: FMG Stadium Waikato

2019: 6th in Premiership

 

Talking points

Two-Test All Black Luke Jacobson will captain the Mooloo men this season and he’ll be in safe hands with former Chiefs skipper Liam Messam joining him in the loose forwards. Messam’s played 85 matches for Waikato and returns to his province after two years with French club Toulon. He hasn’t played in the Mitre 10 Cup since 2015. The bulk of the 2019 squad return for this season, with 20 out of the 31 players having played last year. Waikato features three current All Blacks in Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie and Jacobson and sixteen Super Rugby players.

 

Player to watch

Midfielder/outside back Gideon Wrampling is one to watch in the Waikato squad this year. Named for the first time, the 19 year-old scored four tries in three matches for the New Zealand Secondary Schools side last year. A former St Paul’s Collegiate student, Wrampling plays for the Hamilton Old Boys club and is of a big stature, weighing 102kg and standing at 188cm tall.

 

Incoming players

Liam Messam, Steven Misa, Patrick Osborne, Adam Thomson, George Dyer, Liam Coombes-Fabling, Cortez Ratima, Xavier Roe, Gideon Wrampling

 

 

Waikato squad

Hamilton Burr, Rob Cobb, George Dyer, Samipeni Finau, Josh Iosefa-Scott, Luke Jacobson, Mitch Jacobson, Ayden Johnstone, Sosefo Kautai, Sekope Lopeti-Moli, Liam Messam, Steven Misa, Ollie Norris, Simon Parker, Samisoni Taukei’aho, James Thompson, Adam Thomson, Liam Coombes-Fabling, Matty Lansdown, Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie, Patrick Osborne, Cortez Ratima, Rivez Reihana, Xavier Roe, Louis Rogers, Fletcher Smith, Bailyn Sullivan, Valynce Te Whare, Quinn Tupaea, Gideon Wrampling

 

Waikato fixtures

Waikato v Wellington

Saturday 12 September

2.05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

 

Waikato v North Harbour

Saturday 19 September

2.05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

 

Tasman v Waikato

Saturday 26 September

2.05pm, Trafalgar Park, Nelson

 

Southland v Waikato

Sunday 4 October

2.05pm, Rugby Park, Invercargill

 

Waikato v Counties Manukau

Saturday 10 October

7.05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

 

Canterbury v Waikato

Sunday 18 October

2.05pm, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch

 

Waikato v Taranaki

Sunday 25 October

4.35pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

 

Auckland v Waikato

Saturday 31 October

7.05pm, Eden Park Auckland

 

Waikato v Bay of Plenty

Sunday 8 November

2.05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato

 

Northland v Waikato

Saturday 14 November

2.05pm, Kaikohe Rugby Club