Players to look out for this year?

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by Fushitsusha, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    Does anyone know of any exciting newcomers we should be looking out for in this years 2009?

    It won't exactly be his debut, but I'm hoping that Sitaleki Timani can inflict some hurt on his opponents...


    Hulking Sitaleki Timani wants to become the Brumbies wrecking ball

    By Bret Harris

    January 29, 2009 SITALEKI Timani received one piece of advice from coach Ricky Stuart when he played rugby league with the Sharks.

    And he has not forgotten it, despite switching to rugby union: when you get the ball, put your head down and run as hard as you can.

    And that is going to be a frightening prospect for teams defending against the Brumbies in the Super 14 competition.

    At 202cm and 119kg, the hulking Timani is one of the biggest men in Australian rugby and he has set his sights on becoming one of the most damaging players in the game.

    At Brumbies training Timani resembles a one-man wrecking crew as his teammates tire of trying to tackle him in opposed practice sessions.

    "I want to play as hard as I can and try to get a starting spot," Timani said.

    "I prefer the second row. I just give what I've got and play what's in front of me. I want to be noted as a hard runner."

    Born in the Tongan village of Kolonga, Timani, 22, grew up playing soccer. One of his uncles, Talialeko, played soccer for Tonga in 1993. Timani was introduced to rugby union when he attended Liahona High School where his talent was recognised straight away.

    After representing the Tongan Schoolboys team, Timani won a scholarship to attend Auckland Grammar, but he missed selection for the New Zealand Schoolboys team and decided to move to Australia.

    Due to qualification criteria which required three years' residency, Timani was ineligible to play for any of the Australian Super 14 teams.

    Switching codes, he joined the Cronulla Sharks and played in the NRL's under-20 competition before moving up to reserve grade the following year.

    "Ricky Stuart came down and I learnt a lot from him," Timani said.

    "It was pretty tough. The training. It was different to rugby union.

    "It took me a long time to learn how to play. Rugby league wasn't my game so I switched back to rugby union.

    "My height ... when you are running it's easier for little guys to get under you and tackle you."

    Timani returned to rugby union playing for Perth Spirit in the now defunct Australian Rugby Championship, which led to a contract with Western Force.

    Despite not completing his three-year residency, Timani made his Super 14 debut for the Force against the Sharks in the first round of the 2008 season after receiving dispensation by the ARU due to the club's injury problems.

    He earned three caps off the bench for the Force, playing in the second row, but Timani had grown up watching the Brumbies on television and accepted an offer to move to Canberra.

    "The Brumbies have always been my club," Timani said.

    "George Smith (who is of Tongan descent) is my favourite player. I wanted to play with him. Last year I got an offer from the Brumbies so I took it.

    "I'm very happy and excited, I can't wait to get on the field."

    Timani has been named on the bench for the Brumbies' trial against the Hurricanes in Canberra.

    Meanwhile, former Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone will come off the bench for his first provincial match for the Brumbies in two years. Rathbone is one of eight Wallabies included in the 29-man squad.

    The 27-year-old, who played the last of his 26 Tests in 2006, only returned from chronic knee problems at the end of last year's Sydney club season.

    While 2008 Wallabies tourists Mark Chisholm, Peter Kimlin and Ben Alexander have been picked to start in the forward pack, Test stars Stirling Mortlock, Smith, Stephen Moore and Adam Ashley-Cooper are being rested.
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  3. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    Geez I've really forgot about Rathbone. That guy has really faded away. Look how far behind he is compared to his SA u/23 centre partner, Jean De Villiers.

    Anyway, 2009 should see the rise of Jean Deysel. He had a great 2008. He is easily the strongest player in the Sharks team. Massive guy.
  4. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    Rathbone didn't play a single Super 14 match last year, and was plagued with injuries the two years before that...

    It's a shame really... he was incredible back in 2004/2005... hopefully if he stays injury free he might regain that form... who knows?
  5. jawmalawm24

    jawmalawm24 Guest

    Wellington Hurricanes Winger/Flanker/No.8 Victor Vito is one to look out for. He didn't really make a huge impact on the Air New Zealand Cup but I'm sure he'll be able to in the Super14. He's a international superstar in Rugby 7's and he has the ability to play like a back cutting lines through defences and has good finishing skills.
  6. bobilycious

    bobilycious Guest

    Also Jayden Hayward and Israel Dagg (from the Highlanders) are worth a mention.

    I really want to see Sean Maitland playing a bit more as he has a lot of potential!
  7. Flux

    Flux Guest

    It's already been mentioned here, but Jayden Hayward is definitely one to keep an eye on.
  8. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    Oh my, the Force might finally have a decent frontrower...

    Western Force sign former Chiefs and Junior All Blacks prop Ben Castle

    January 31, 2009
    FORMER Junior All Blacks and Chiefs tighthead prop Ben Castle has signed with Western Force for this season as the Perth-based team's marquee international player.

    Castle joins the Force from French side Toulon, where he played alongside former NRL star Sonny Bill Williams.

    Castle earned 42 Super Rugby caps with the Chiefs during his five seasons in Waikato after debuting against the Crusaders in 2004.

    The 29-year-old also played for the Junior All Blacks against Australia A in Sydney in 2005.

    At 185cm and 115kg, Castle is a powerful scrummager who can play on either side of the scrum.

    "He's an old-school type of prop who is a good fit for our squad," Force coach John Mitchell said.

    "He will add experience and depth to our ranks.

    "He's renowned as a strong scrummager and will have benefited from his season in France."

    The Force kick-off their Super 14 season with a home match against the Blues on February 13.
  9. munross

    munross Guest


    Remember this name, only 19 and he has already played for the Barbarians.Big, strong, great hands and very mobile no.8 and was also tested on the wing today in the Stormers warm-up game against Boland, don't know how well he did at wing as they didn't show the game but look out for this player!
  10. Boggle

    Boggle Guest

    Nick Koster scored his first try as a wing against Boland yesterday, although it's only against Boland who wouldn't even make a dent as a Super 14 side, so wouldn't read too much into that, but I do think Nick Koster could become an immense player.

    Conrad Hoffman should probably be fit to play again this year, and hopefully he will, was brilliant a year or 2 ago for WP U19 or U21 and unfortunately he got injured or something and I havn't really seen him play in a while.
  11. all7days

    all7days Guest

    Rene Ranger for the blues. If can actually get on the park i'm sure he'll prove is place.

    Also Jared Payne for the Crusaders is an awesome running full back. really big and really fast. Just need leon to get another head knock :)
  12. bobilycious

    bobilycious Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (all7days @ Feb 4 2009, 07:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Yea, I reckon Payne is a great addition for the Crusaders! One of the top linebreakers in the ANZC and also scored quite a few tries.
  13. C A Iversen

    C A Iversen Guest

    Now this is an interesting thread idea. Interesting stuff and informative. Top idea!
  14. Jer1cho

    Jer1cho Guest

    Does anyone know what happened to Hercules (Yes that's his name) Venter? He was a try scoring machine in Schoolboy rugby 2 or 3 years ago. Apparently one of the fastest runners in South Africa. He was also voted school player of the year twice! I think he played for Monument (or was it Waterkloof?). Anyway, i have heard rumors that he went overseas. Just wondering if anyone remembers him...

    PS. 800th post! WOOP WOOP!
  15. bobilycious

    bobilycious Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Jer1cho @ Feb 5 2009, 08:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>

    Looks like he is still around in South Africa. Although I guess he could have left since then.
  16. mackka

    mackka Guest

    For the Waratahs, Rob Horne has loads of potential. Was fantastic last season as an 18 year old and hopefully doesn't suffer the second season curse. Apparently the second fastest player in Australian rugby, he also has fantastic footwork and hits very hard in defense.
  17. QLD

    QLD Guest

    A few of the Reds academy players.

    Wont make it this year but Dom Shipperly REMEMBER THE NAME
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