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Crusaders region well-represented in Heartland XV squad

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The Heartland XV squad to play two fixtures in November has been named, with 11 of the 23-man squad hailing from the Crusaders region.


The Crusaders represent six Provincial Unions across the South Island – South Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, Canterbury, Tasman, Buller and the West Coast.


Players from the Crusaders region are, Adam Williamson (Mid Canterbury), Connor Anderson* (South Canterbury), Finlay Joyce* (South Canterbury), Leopino Maupese* (Buller), Paula Fifita (South Canterbury), Sam Briggs* (South Canterbury), Shayne Anderson* (West Coast), Tokoma’ata Fakatava (South Canterbury), Tyler Kearns (West Coast), Vaka Taelega (South Canterbury), and William Wright (South Canterbury). (*denotes a debut)


Nigel Walsh, who was named Heartland XV Head Coach in September, is a good friend of the Crusaders, and General Manager of valued commercial partner Temuka Transport. He’s also Head Coach of South Canterbury – one of Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship’s most successful teams – who recently won their 500th first class game with a Meads Cup victory on 15 October.


The West Coast also tasted victory over the weekend when they beat Poverty Pay to secure the Lochore Cup.


“Every player listed stood out during the Heartland competition and I’ve got a good mix of experience across the board,” Walsh said.


The Heartland XV will play in a two-match campaign against Canterbury Development on November 1 and the New Zealand Barbarians on November 4. Both matches will be streamed live on New Zealand Rugby.


The Canterbury Development and New Zealand Barbarians will announce their squads at a later date.

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New Zealand Heartland XV squad 2023:

Adam Williamson (Mid Canterbury) 
Connor Anderson* (South Canterbury) 
Dane Whale (Whanganui) 
Douglas Horrocks* (Whanganui) 
Finlay Joyce* (South Canterbury) 
Fletcher Morgan* (Thames Valley) 
Joshua Clark (North Otago) 
Junior Fakatoufifita (North Otago) 
Kaleb Foote (King Country) 
Keanu Taumata* (Poverty Bay) 
Leopino Maupese* (Buller) 
Lindsay Horrocks (Whanganui) 
Paula Fifita (South Canterbury) 
Peceli Malanicagi* (Whanganui) 
Peter-Tavis Hay-Horton* (Whanganui) 
Renata Roberts-Te Nana* (East Coast) 
Saimone Samate (North Otago) 
Sam Briggs* (South Canterbury) 
Shayne Anderson* (West Coast) 
Tokoma’ata Fakatava (South Canterbury) 
Tyler Kearns (West Coast) 
Vaka Taelega (South Canterbury) 
William Wright (South Canterbury) 
*Denotes debut 



Head Coach | Nigel Walsh (South Canterbury) 
Assistant Coach | Miah Nikora (Poverty Bay) 
Team Manager | Thomas Zimmerman (Horowhenua-Kapiti) 
Observer Coach | Jason Forrest (North Otago) 
Physiotherapist | Geoff Thompson (South Canterbury) 
Trainer | Slade King (Rotorua) 
Doctor | Coll Campbell (Poverty Bay)

New Zealand Heartland XV Schedule: 


New Zealand Heartland XV v Canterbury Development 
Wednesday, November 1 (4.00pm kick-off) 
Methven Rugby Football Club, Methven 
New Zealand Heartland XV v NZ Barbarians (2.00pm kick-off) 
Saturday, November 4 
Whitestone Contracting Stadium, Oamaru