A host of player signings has coincided with the 2000th season member joining the Waikato family ahead of the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup season.
The Waikato season is already underway with the first Ranfurly Shield defence successfully negotiated – an 83-13 win over Thames Valley in Paeroa – and preparations will now begin to ramp up with the Mitre 10 Cup now less than a month away.
And with the season opener fast approaching, Waikato can confirm a few key members of its 2016 squad including Isaac Boss, Stephen Donald, Sam Christie and Willis Halaholo.
Boss and Christie return to Waikato after stints in Europe, Donald is back again after an injury plagued comeback in 2015, and Halaholo has signed from Southland.
“The experience of these four will complement the young players in our squad nicely and their leadership will be a huge boost to our 2016 campaign,” says Waikato head coach Sean Botherway.
Key youngsters Damian McKenzie, Atu Moli and James Tucker have also signed with the province for another two years, meaning they will be in red, yellow and black until at least the end of 2018.
“We are thrilled to secure Damian, Atu and James for the next couple of years. They are all fantastic young men who have come through our development system since joining us out of high school and we are starting to see their talent come to fruition,” says Botherway.
WRU commercial and marketing manager David Fox says: “This is a hugely exciting time for Waikato Rugby Union. We are gaining momentum with these key player signings and with now well in excess of 2000 season members there is a buzz around FMG Stadium Waikato and we can’t wait for the Mitre 10 Cup to get underway.”