Five sets of brothers were among 140 players named Friday to make up New Zealand’s five teams in rugby’s Super 14 in 2009.
The 28-man squads were released Friday following a draft and selection meeting attended by the coaching staff of the teams on Thursday. Play begins next February, but teams are chosen at this stage to allow for orientation and practice sessions.
New All Blacks flanker Scott Waldrom (picture) and brother Thomas, All Blacks lock Ali Williams and brother Jay, new international prop Ben Franks and brother Owen, Jacob and Tamati Ellison and Adam and George Whitelock were included in squads released by the New Zealand Rugby Union.
The players named Friday include 30 who have not previously played in the Super 14, nine who are returning to Super rugby after missing the 2008 season and 13 who have been chosen under New Zealand’s draft system.
“This year there was a real freshness to it all thanks to the new guys on some of the coaching staffs,” Neil Sorensen, New Zealand’s general manager of professional rugby, said.
New Zealand is represented by Canterbury, Auckland, Wellington, Waikato and Otago in Super 14. Other teams in the competition – New South Wales, Queensland, Western Force and ACT in Australia and the Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Cheetahs and Stormers in South Africa – will name their teams later.