South Canterbury Ranfurly Shield rugby team announced

South Canterbury coach Nigel Walsh and South Canterbury Rugby Union chief executive Craig Calder hope to bring the Ranfurly Shield back to the province for the third time in history.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

South Canterbury coach Nigel Walsh and South Canterbury Rugby Union chief executive Craig Calder hope to bring the Ranfurly Shield back to the province for the third time in history.

They’ve lifted the Ranfurly Shield twice before, and now, South Canterbury rugby players are hoping to do it for a third time.

The South Canterbury traveling squad for the Ranfurly Shield match being played against the Hawkes Bay Magpies in Napier next Wednesday was named on Tuesday and coach Nigel Walsh said it was “bloody hard” picking 25 players, form the 24 training squad, for the traveling squad .

“Last night was hard, telling some of the guys they didn’t make the team,” Walsh said on Wednesday.

“All of the training squad were strong players, and it was really hard to narrow it down. Thirty-four doesn’t go into 25.”

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The winning 1974 South Canterbury Ranfurly Shield rugby team, back from left, Alan McLaren, Murray Roberts, Ross McCutcheon, Noel Glass, Dave Cochrane, Doug Nicol, Neville Twaddell, Paul Roddick, Lani Palmer, centre, from left, Gene Thomson, Noel Dennison, Brian Wilton, Peter Grant, Bill Anderson, Dick Sharpe, Tom Lister, Mick Lindsay, Lewis Murchison, Rod Dorgan, and front row, from right, Bricky Mulcahy (selector), Peter Walsh, Jim Dawson (selector-coach), Ken Milne (captain), George Atkins, Ken Tarrant, Stewie Sutherland, Bill Dickson, Jack Williams (manager).

Supplied

The winning 1974 South Canterbury Ranfurly Shield rugby team, back from left, Alan McLaren, Murray Roberts, Ross McCutcheon, Noel Glass, Dave Cochrane, Doug Nicol, Neville Twaddell, Paul Roddick, Lani Palmer, centre, from left, Gene Thomson, Noel Dennison, Brian Wilton, Peter Grant, Bill Anderson, Dick Sharpe, Tom Lister, Mick Lindsay, Lewis Murchison, Rod Dorgan, and front row, from right, Bricky Mulcahy (selector), Peter Walsh, Jim Dawson (selector-coach), Ken Milne (captain), George Atkins, Ken Tarrant, Stewie Sutherland, Bill Dickson, Jack Williams (manager).

South Canterbury has won the shield twice – in 1950 and 1974, and Wednesday’s game will be the first time they have competed for the Ranfurly Shield since losing to Canterbury in 2006.

As the 2021 Heartland Championship Meads Cup winners, they automatically had the right to challenge for the shield.

“It would be fantastic to bring the shield home, but it is just a privilege to play for it,” Walsh said.

“It will certainly be an Everest of a challenge, it’s not everyday you get to play in a Ranfury Shield.”

Walsh said they are taking two extra players just in case of injury or Covid-19 issues.

South Canterbury won last year's Meads Cup during the Heartland Championship over Thames Valley on home soil.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

South Canterbury won last year’s Meads Cup during the Heartland Championship over Thames Valley on home soil.

The South Canterbury Ranfurly Shield game on Wednesday is special on many levels as Nick Strachan will play his 100th game for South Canterbury, Walsh said.

“We would like to do what we can as a team to make that game special for Nick and for South Canterbury” Walsh said.

“Not many players can say their 100th game is a Ranfurly Shield game.”

The team will practice on Thursday night and have another practice and game on Saturday before flying to Napier on Tuesday for Wednesday’s game.

South Canterbury Ranfurly Shield Challenge Traveling Squad

Forwards

Tokomaata Fakatava – Waimate

Vaka Taelaga – Temuka

Garrett Casey – Celtic

Keagan Gray – Pleasant Point

Conor Anderson – Celtic

Junior Faavae – Temuka

Anathony Amato – Waimate

Henry Bryce

Solomone Lavaka – Temuka

Cam Russell – MacKenzie

Nick Strachan – Celtic

Tangi Savelio – Temuka

Eteinne van zyl – Temuka

Loni Toumohuni – Waimate

Theo Davidson – Waimate

Backs

Willie Wright – Celtic

Sam Briggs – Tasman

Paula Fifita – Harlequins

Miles Medlicott – Waimate

Zac Saunders – Celtic

Zac McKay – Christchurch

Kalavini Leatigaga – Temuka

Sireli Buliruarua – Harliequins

Tomasi Bikaca – Celtic

Liueli Simote – Temuka

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