The Crusaders have made no room for Richie McCaw in their squad for 2016, which will squash any rumours of him playing any longer than 2015 in New Zealand.
33 New Zealand-based players make their debuts and a total of 195 players have been confirmed as contracted members of one of the five New Zealand Super Rugby teams, which includes 46 players receiving full-time contracts for the first time, according to sanzarrugby.
The season begins on Friday, February 26 as 2015 champions the Highlanders play the Blues in Auckland before the Brumbies host the Hurricanes on the opening night, which involves three of last year’s four semi-finalists.
There is some bright new talent across the board with plenty of players looking to hustle their way into starting positions for their respective franchises.
Who will be the next Malakai Fekitoa of 2014 or Nehe Milner-Skudder of 2015 and bolt into the All Blacks? Will it be brothers Reiko or Akira from the Blues, Vaea Fifita from the Canes or even a league convert in the form of Ngani Laumape (Canes), Matt Duffie (Blues) or Glen Fisiiahi (Chiefs). All will be answered in the early stages of 2016.
The New Zealand Super Rugby Squads for 2016 are as follows:
Josh Bekhuis, Dan Bowden, Matt Duffie, Joe Edwards, TJ Faiane, Charlie Faumuina, Piers Francis, Blake Gibson, Billy Guyton, Bryn Hall, Akira Ioane, Rieko Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Ben Lam, Tevita Li, Michael Little, Steven Luatua, Quentin MacDonald, Matt McGahan, Sione Mafileo, Hoani Matenga, Nic Mayhew, George Moala, Matt Moulds, Melani Nanai, Sam Nock, James Parsons, Sam Prattley, Kara Pryor, Rene Ranger, Jack Ram, Scott Scrafton, Jordan Trainor, Gerrard Tuioti-Mariner, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Lolagi Visinia, Namatahi Waa, Ihaia West
Michael Allardice, Johan Bardoul, Dominic Bird, Sam Cane, Stephen Donald, Aaron Cruden, Hika Elliot, Glen Fisiiahi, Siegfried Fisiihoi, Mitchell Graham, Nathan Harris, Andrew Horrell, Mitchell Karpik, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tevita Koloamatangi, Nepo Laulala, Michael Leitch, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Pauliasi Manu, Rhys Marshall, Damian McKenzie, Sam McNicol, Atu Moli, Charlie Ngatai, Augustine Pulu, Toni Pulu, Brodie Retallick, Tom Sanders, Teleni Seu, Shaun Stevenson, Seta Tamanivalu, Chase Tiatia, Siate Tokolahi, James Tucker, Ma’ama Vaipulu, Latu Vaeno, Sam Vaka, Brad Weber, Sonny Bill Williams
Michael Ala’alatoa, Scott Barrett, Jed Brown (medical exemption), Tim Boys, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg (medical exemption), Mitchell Drummond, Andy Ellis, Sione Fifita, Kieron Fonotia, Owen Franks, Robbie Fruean, Ben Funnell, Jack Goodhue (medical exemption), David Havili, Mitchell Hunt, Alex Hodgman, Nemani Nadolo, Jone Macilai, Marty Mckenzie, Johnny McNicholl, Joe Moody, Richie Mo’unga, Tim Perry (medical exemption), Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Ged Robinson, Pete Samu, Jordan Taufua, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, Ben Volavola, Sean Wainui, Sam Whitelock
Alex Ainley, Marty Banks, Richard Buckman, Shane Christie, Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Elliot Dixon, Brendon Edmonds, Jason Emery, Matt Faddes, Malakai Fekitoa, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Ross Geldenhuys, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Jackson Hemopo, Josh Hohneck, Daniel Lienert-Brown, James Lentjes, Craig Millar, Waisake Naholo, Patrick Osborne, Hayden Parker,, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Dan Pryor, Mark Reddish, Josh Renton, Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Liam Squire, Fumiaki Tanaka, Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Ryan Tongia, Teihorangi Walden, Luke Whitelock, Joe Wheeler
Mark Abbott, Pita Ahki, Leni Apisai, Vince Aso, Beauden Barrett, Otere Black, James Broadhurst, Dane Coles, Geoffrey Cridge, Chris Eves, Michael Fatialofa, Vaea Fifita, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson-Park, Reggie Goodes, Willis Halaholo, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Cory Jane, Tony Lamborn, Ngani Laumape, Christian Lloyd, James Marshall, Motu Matu’u , Ben May, Nehe Milner-Skudder, TJ Perenara, Matt Proctor, Hugh Renton, Hisa Sasagi, Ardie Savea, Julian Savea, Brad Shields, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Blade Thomson, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Loni Uhila, TJ Va’a, Victor Vito, Jason Woodward
Simon van Ryn, Pundit Arena