The 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season is an upcoming professional club rugby union tournament organised by New Zealand Rugby. As announced on 11 November last year, the tournament will be the second season of Super Rugby Aotearoa, featuring the 5 New Zealand Super Rugby sides, and will run from 26 February to 8 May 2021. Here is a list of players you would love to watch them play.
5. Liam Squire
The big unit from the South has had a turbulent 2 years in the rugby world as he has had to endure unending injuries both physically and mentally. Shoulder injuries derailed his involvement for the highlanders leading to the 2019 world cup and due to limited game time and mental health issues he had to withdraw from the All Blacks. He took a sabbatical in Japan and due to Covid-19 he has come back to New Zealand and he wants to prove to the selectors that he has still got what it takes to be the first choice blindside flanker. A fit and running Squire is always a nightmare for opposition defenders.
4. Will Jordan
The mesmerizing Crusader is poised to make even more headlines as the competition kicks off. From the back of an outstanding Super Rugby campaign in 2020 both at Fullback and on the right wing and a memorable match for the All Black’s last test match of 2020 against Argentina,the young lad is set to make the number 15 jumper his own for Razor’s defending champions team. He’s likened to the great Christian Cullen and barely 21 the young has a bright future ahead of him. Roll on 2021 please.
3. Akira Ioane
Big,fast,strong, explosive,I can think of a million adjectives to describe the Blues torpedo. He finally got what he has been working for,for the last 4+ years,an All Blacks call up. He’s test debut was cut short when his Blues teammate Ofa Tu’ungafasi got red carded and he had to be sacrificed but we had already seen what he could offer for the few minutes he was on the paddock. Come Argentina when the men in Black were on the verge of losing 3 consecutive matches and he brought what the All Blacks were missing, physicality. He made big tackles,carried hard and worked his socks off. Him at Blindside flank and Hoskins Sotutu at the back of the scrum is going to a force to reckon with in the comp. Battles against the likes of Squire,Flanders and Shannon Frizzel are going to be a spectacle
2. Sam Cane
The All Blacks captain is going into the competition as the best player in New Zealand having led the all blacks diligently during their test matches. Having recovered from a neck injury and playing average rugby for the chiefs,the critics didn’t spare him but h responded with huge performances week in week out. The Chiefs would love to see him put in huge shifts for them as he has done for the All Blacks. They will also rely on him hugely on matters leadership. We hope he stays injury free and comes on delivering big performances week in week out.
1. Caleb Clarke
Videos of Clarke running over and around Aussie defenders at Eden Park and his Father Eroni smiling were some of the most watched rugby videos around world. The young was given a chance and took it with both hands. Having played well for the All Blacks 7s and chasing the Olympics dream, Covid-19 cut short his hopes and he redirected his focus to the longer version of the game. He turned up for the Blues big time and he earned his call up to the All Blacks. He’s a devasting runner but has a lot to work on his finishing. Regardless of the that,he gives teams the go forward and the metres they need. Still young,2021 is the year the young man can build on and successful,maybe,nail the number 11 jumper for the ABs. With the departure of Beauden Barrett to Japan,he has a lot to offer now in terms of leadership at the back with Mark Telea. Looking forward to him brushing off defenders and scoring tries.
Honourable mentions;Cullen Grace,Wes Goosen,Simon Hickey(Hurricanes fly half) and Tupou Vaa’i.
By Brevia Mwembe