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2011 Waikato ITM Cup team announced

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Waikato coach Chris Gibbes today announced the 2011 Waikato ITM Cup squad.

Chris Gibbes said "we are confident that we have the right mix of experience and youth in this team and we are determined to improve on last year's season. We know what it takes to get to the final and we are going to take it one step further this year. We are looking forward to this unique competition with all its challenges we believe that we are able to field a competitive team week in and week out".

The 32 man squad includes four "train-on" squad members who will continue to train with the team throughout the ITM Cup campaign.

"They are going to play a vital role in the success of this campaign and the quality of these players highlights the depth of our squad" commented Gibbes.

There are four new players to the Waikato squad this year including New Zealand Seven's representatives Declan O'Donnell (midfield back) and Rory Grice (number 8), local player Rena Schuster (midfield back) along with former Canterbury representative hooker Marcel Cummings-Toone.

This season sees the return of Latu Talakai (prop - has played 7 games for Waikato), Ted Tauroa (prop - has played 5 games for Waikato) and Sam Christie (first five-eighth - has played 16 games for Waikato) to the red, yellow and black colours.

Nathan White, who has played 66 games for Waikato, will again captain the side.

Waikato Head Coach Chris Gibbes is assisted by Scott McLeod and Greg Smith with Paul Galletta managing the team. The 2011 Waikato ITM Cup squad is:

Forwards:

Alex Bradley (Morrinsville Sports) Marcel Cummings-Toone (University) Aled de Malmanche (Hamilton Old Boys) Romana Graham (Hautapu) Rory Grice (Otorohanga) Zak Hohneck (Otorohanga)

Marty Holah (Hamilton Marist) Jack Lam (Hamilton Marist) Toby Lynn (Te Rapa) Ben May (Te Awamutu Sports) Liam Messam (Hautapu) Chris Middleton (Te Awamutu Sports) Toby Smith (Hamilton Old Boys) Latu Talaki (Fraser Tech) Ted Tauroa (Otorohanga) Nathan White (Te Awamutu Sports) - Captain Matt Vant Leven (Fraser Tech)

Backs: Sam Christie (Fraser Tech) Stephen Donald (University) Frank Halai (Hamilton Marist) Richard Kahui (Te Rapa) Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Hautapu) Brendon Leonard (Morrinsville Sports) - Vice Captain Tim Mikkelson (University) Mils Muliaina (Te Rapa) Declan O'Donnell (Melville Sports)

Trent Renata (Hamilton Marist) Rena Schuster (Hamilton Old Boys) Sitiveni Sivivatu (Frankton) Henry Speight (Hamilton Old Boys) Savenaca Tokula (Fraser Tech) Jackson Willison (Hamilton Old Boys)

Train on Squad Members Jono Armstrong (Te Awamutu Sports) Vance Elliot (Hamilton Old Boys) Malcolm Barnes (Hamilton Old Boys) Josh Olsen (Hamilton Old Boys)

Points of interest:

? Waikato will play Taranaki, this Wednesday the 6th of July at Albert Park, Te Awamutu, with a 4pm kickoff. If you wish to attend, email Kate. ? Waikato's first home game, in the ITM Cup, is against Taranaki on Thursday 21st of July, 7.35pm at Waikato Stadium. For Waikato's 2011 draw check out http://www.mooloo.co.nz/ITM-

Cup/Waikato-Draw/ for more details. Waikato will play five round robin matches at home at Waikato Stadium.

? Waikato has a bye in rounds two, six and ten. ? Waikato will challenge Canterbury for the Ranfurly Shield in round eight of the competition

? For background information on all 2011 Waikato players please visit www.mooloo.co.nz after 6pm today. For all enquiries regarding players that are not covered on the website, please contact Kate Shirtcliff on 021-901-533 or send an e-mail to kates@mooloo.co.nz.

The 2011 Waikato ITM Cup Draw is

WEEK OPPOSITION VENUE DATE TIME Week 1 Southland Invercargill Friday 15 July 7.35pm Week 2 BYE

Week 3 Taranaki Hamilton Thursday 21 July 7.35pm Week 4 Bay of Plenty Rotorua Tuesday 26 July 7.35pm Week 5 Tasman Waikato Stadium Friday 29 July 8.05pm Week 6 BYE

Week 7 Counties-Manukau Pukekohe Sunday 7 Aug 2.35pm Week 8 Canterbury (RS) Christchurch Wednesday 10 Aug 2.35pm Week 9 Otago Waikato Stadium Sunday 14 Aug 4.35pm Week 10 BYE

Week 11 Manawatu Palmerston North Saturday 20 Aug 7.35pm Week 12 Wellington Waikato Stadium Tuesday 23 Aug 8.05pm Week 13 Auckland Waikato Stadium Saturday 27 Aug 2.35pm Final Saturday 3 September 7.35pm

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