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Deal to captain Manawatu Sevens at Nationals

Linton Army’s Jared Deal has been confirmed as captain of the Gary Douglas Engineers Manawatu Sevens team heading to the National Provincial Sevens in Tauranga on the weekend.

Deal, who starred for the military club during the club season as a goalkicking centre, is in his second year with the Manawatu squad having transferred to the region for work.

Deal is one of just four players returning to the tournament from last year’s squad joining workhorse Alipate Natoba, 2018 Turbo debutant Ben Werthmuller and hot-stepping playmaker Tobias Wickham-Manual.

But despite the many changes coaches Glen Christini and Fusi Feaunati have made to the squad, there is no lack of experience.

Turbos loose forward Brice Henderson has been a regular face in the sevens squad over the years with his size and athletism leading itself well to the abbreviated form of the game.

Fellow Turbo Te Rangatira Waitokia has spent time with the New Zealand Sevens Development programme and will be among the fastest players at the tournament.

Fleet-footed army outside back TamaToa Ropati, Feilding Old Boys-Oroua outside back Shai Wiperi and workhorse Alipate Natoba are others who have been regulars in the Manawatu sevens squad in the past.

The 2018 leading try-scoring in Manawatu club rugby Ollie ‘Mad Dog’ Brosnahan was included in the squad along with Varsity standout Reece Brosnan, Feilding Old Boys-Oroua loose forward Hamish Bennett and Old Boys-Marist loose forward Matene Ruawai.

Manawatu Sevens: Alipate Natoba, Ben Werthmuller, Matene Ruawai, Tobias Wickham-Manuel, Jared Deal, Reece Brosnan, Hamish Bennett, Shai Wiperi, Ollie Brosnahan, Te Rangatira Waitokia, Tamatoa Ropati, Brice Henderson