With the Crusaders winning their 10th Super Rugby title and the third one on the trot, the 2019 Super Rugby season has come to an end. The champions' side will lose many players, and a significant number of Super Rugby and All Blacks caps, to overseas' clubs. On top of that, two of their assistant coaches are leaving, too. How much will this weaken the Crusaders? Will their depth be sufficient or will the exodus create a weak spot in their squad? Where is good recruitment most urgent?
In the list below, I have included information about player signings and departures that could be helpful for a discussion about the 2020 squad. I'll update this list as more info becomes available.
- I've started with the 2019 Crusaders squad that was named on 31 October 2018. (Note: I've followed the squad guide for the determination of a player's position, e.g., lock or loosie, or lock/loosie etc.);
- In italics, I have added the players that also played for the Crusaders in 2019, despite not being named in the initial squad;
- Between (brackets) are the number of games played this season (stats: Fox Sports);
- In bold are the players of which I know for sure that they are signed through to next season (obviously, this list may/will not be complete because the duration of contracts is often not published. Some signings aren't even published);
Strikethrough: players, who are known to be leaving.
Some of the questions are:
- The recruitment in which position is the most urgent?
- Who of the players of the initial 2019 squad would you like to see signed for 2020 (or longer)?
- Who of the players that played in 2019, but weren't in the initial squad, would you like to see signed for 2020 (or longer)?
- Which other player, who hasn't played for the Crusaders in 2019, would be on your wish list?
- Which player, who hasn't been signed yet, but played for the Crusaders in 2019, don't you want to be signed?
Allan (H) (10)
Franks (7) to Northhampton Saints
Tu'ungafasi (I) (4)
Funnell (9) to Ricoh Black Rams
Barrett (S) (15)
Whitelock (12) ) to Panasonic Wild Knights (2020 only; will return to the Crusaders in 2021)
Read (11) to Toyota Verblitz
Taufua (18) to Leicester Tigers
Todd (15) to Toshiba Brave Lupus
Hunt (10) to the Highlanders
Bateman (3) - won't return (retiring?)
Crotty (15) to Kubota Spears
Punivai (N) (2) to the Highlanders
Dagg (-) - retired
Faingaanuku (L) (1)
(Please, let me know if you're sure I've missed a signing - if you can give me a link to a source, I'll correct it in the list above.)