The Manawatu Turbos kick off their Mitre 10 Cup campaign against Wellington at home at Central Energy Trust Arena on Sunday 20th August.
Turbos player Ambrose Curtis makes his All Black Maori debut against Munster this weekend. He is one of four Manawatu players to face the Irish club.
Curtis will play on the right wing while Otere Black will wear the number 10 jersey and Chris Eves and Jason Emery have been named on the bench.
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Turbos loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis’ long wait for a Super Rugby contract is over – from 2017 he will be a Crusader after being signed by the Christchurch franchise.
The drums have been beating for Bedwell-Curtis’ inclusion at the next level for several seasons after stella performances for the Turbos over the past three years.
Bedwell-Curtis joins fellow Turbos player Michael Alaalatoa at the Crusaders and is one of 12 Turbos to be offered Super Rugby contracts for 2017.
The full list of Turbo players with full contracts are:
Hurricanes – Ngani Laumape, Chris Eves, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Otere Black, Callum Gibbins
Crusaders – Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Michael Alaalatoa
Highlanders – Aaron Smith, Kayne Hammingtion, Jason Emery, Jackson Hemopo
Chiefs – Aaron Cruden
Manawatu Turbos captain Callum Gibbins won the supreme award at the Turbos end-of-year dinner held at the Convention Centre last night.
Gibbins received the Manawatu Rugby Supporters’ Club Player of the Year award after another outstanding performance in the Green and White colours.
Lock Jackson Hemopo was named Players’ Player of the Year, while Heiden Bedwell-Curtis collected the Most Valuable Forward award and Jason Emery was awarded the Most Valuable Back.
Utility back Curtis Reid was named Personality of the Year, while youngster Travis Taylor was named Rookie of the Year after firstly gaining Turbos selection following a strong club season for Feilding Yellows and then making his Mitre 10 Cup debut.