Wellington Pride: PREVIEW 2020

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Position in 2019

3rd in Premiership

 

Talking points

Head coach Ross Bond said selecting his squad this year was the toughest process in his 20 year coaching career. He said in some positions, they have up to five players competing for the jersey.

 

Black Ferns Sevens player Dhys Faleafaga will link up with her sister Lyric, while Monica Tagoai and Marcelle Parkes return from injury.

 

Former Black Fern and Auckland Storm forward Charlene Gubb will suit up for the Pride. She played 38 games for the Storm and will form a strong combination with the likes of Jackie Patea-Fereti, Parkes and Joanah Ngan-Woo.

 

Ngan-Woo is closing in on 50 games for the Pride, just two games short of the milestone. Fellow Black Ferns teammate Ayesha Leti-I’iga was the top try scorer in 2019, bagging 12 tries throughout the season. She’ll provide plenty of excitement on the left wing for Wellington.

 

It’s an exciting looking Wellington side and they’ll be looking for a big season, remembering they are the only side to have beaten Canterbury in the last two years, having defeated them 43-38 in 2018. They face off in Week 5 in Christchurch and the JJ Stewart Trophy could potentially be on the line as well.  

 

Incoming players

Dhys Faleafaga (Black Ferns Sevens), Acacia Claridge-Te Iwimate (injury), Monica Tagoai (injury), Marcelle Parkes (injury), Dora Laupola (injury), Charlene Gubb, Georgia Daals (Japan)

 

 

Outgoing players

Elieta Taito (retired), Mary-Lee Sau (unavailable), Bernadette Robertson (injury), Moana Solia (injury), Leah Conley (injury)

 

Players to watch: Dhys & Lyric Faleafaga

The two sisters. Both extremely talented and will be a handful on attack for the Pride. Dhys returns to Wellington from the Black Ferns Sevens and will be looking forward to some solid minutes in the 15s set up. Older sister Lyric featured on the wing for Wellington last year. She underwent shoulder surgery at the end of last year. The Faleafaga sisters faced each other in club rugby last month, Dhys for Northern United and Lyric for Marist St Pats. But it’s going to be great to see them alongside each other in this strong Pride squad.

 

Wellington Pride squad

Rejieli Uluinayau, Amanda Rasch, Fa’asua Makisi, Josephine Falesita, Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Janet Taumoli, Barbra Taumoli, Raylene Lolo, Precious Auimatagi, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Charlene Gubb, Sinead Toala-Ryder, Evelyn Tea, Tina Paulo, Vaine Marsters, Kolora Lomani, Dora Laupola, Sanita Levave, Nina Foaese, Dhys Faleafaga, Angel Uila, Alice Soper, Alicia Print, Jackie Patea-Fereti, Ana Afuie, Monica Tagoai, Lyric Faleafaga, Marcelle Parkes, Montana Heslop, Georgia Daals, Thamsyn Newton, Emily Dalley, Acacia Claridge-Te Iwimate, Alia Ah Far, Tyler Bentley

 

Coaches: Ross Bond (Head coach), Brendan Reidy (Assistant coach), Aaron Jones (Assistant coach)

 

Wellington Pride draw

Tasman v Wellington

Saturday 12 September

1pm Lansdowne Park Blenheim

 

Wellington v Hawke’s Bay

Saturday 19 September

12.30pm Hutt Recreational Ground

 

Wellington v Manawatu

Friday 25 September

4.35pm Sky Stadium

 

Canterbury v Wellington

Saturday 3 October

4.35pm Orangetheory Stadium

 

Wellington v Otago

Saturday 17 October

12.05pm Porirua Park