Five Turbos Re-sign for 2019
Five Manawatu Turbos have inked extensions while one of the province’s out-bound All Blacks has also committed for the 2019 season.
Tom Hughes, Faalelei Sione, Sam Malcolm, Ben Wyness and Nick Crosswell have all signed extensions to return to the Turbos this year.
The Turbos have also confirmed that France-bound fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder will suit up in green and white in 2019 should he miss the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup squad.
The latest group of signings helps bolster the squad with Rob Thompson, Otere Black, Fraser Armstrong, Liam Mitchell, Brayden Iose and Sione Asi already under contract along with All Blacks Ngani Laumape and Aaron Smith.
Wyness will be hoping to stay injury free to make his long-awaited provincial debut.
Since 2015, he has looked of provincial quality but his path to the Turbos has been blocked by Manawatu’s impressive depth at first five-eighth.
Last year the Air Force engineer was signed to his first Turbos contract only to cruelly pick up a season-ending injury in the club rugby semi-finals.
Wyness returned to club rugby two weeks ago and has spent time training with the Hurricanes.
He looks likely to have a key role to play in the Turbos backline along with Otere Black.
Crosswell will have an opportunity to join the exclusive 100 games club for the Turbos in 2019.
The loose forward-cum-lock, who is the last man standing of the original 2006 Manawatu Turbos, will head into the season on 93 games for the Turbos.
Crosswell’s experience and leadership on and off the field has been key to the forward pack for the past two seasons since he returned from playing in Wales.
The ex-Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs workhorse has relished having a full preseason build-up to his campaign after a neck injury saw him spend much of the 2018 club campaign on the sideline.
Malcolm was a revelation for the Turbos at fullback in 2018.
The utility was called back into the team after a pile of injuries to the side’s first five-eighth stocks during the 2018 preseason.
Having previously played 10 games in three seasons for the Turbos, largely at No 10 with a couple of appearances as a halfback, Malcolm went on to double his career caps by the end of last season.
Malcolm looked especially at home in the final three games when he was named to start at fullback.
Despite his diminutive stature, his rock-solid defence, big kicking boot and well-timed runs into the attacking line saw him become one of the side’s most crucial exponents.
This year Malcolm has been playing for Canada’s Toronto Arrows in Major League Rugby, but he will return home in time for the Mitre 10 Cup.
Hughes was another player to double his appearance count for the Turbos in 2018.
The towering lock played for the Turbos on loan from Canterbury last season featuring in five games.
Hughes, an old boy of Palmerston North Boys’ High School, made his Turbos debut in 2014 before injuries wiped out his 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Sione returns to the Turbos for a second season after proving promising in nine appearances in 2019.
The former Brumbies prop returned to Canberra after last season but will return to Manawatu for the second round of the club season.