Booth confirmed captain as Turbos squad for 2019 revealed
Jamie Booth has been confirmed as the Turbos captain for the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season.
The 24-year-old halfback, who is entering his entering his fifth season with the Turbos, was confirmed to lead the side by coach Peter Russell during the team’s squad announcement on Wednesday.
Veteran flanker Nick Crosswell will be the team’s vice-captain.
Russell said he was looking forward to watching Booth, who spent the Super Rugby season with the Sunwolves, continue to grow as a player.
“From us as the coaching group, we are really excited about Jamie taking the role as our senior leader, being our captain,” he said. “His growth is important to us and to the Hurricanes in the future.”
With 42 games under his belt, Booth is among the most experienced players in the team.
He said it was a special moment when Russell gave him the nod to lead the team.
“It was really exciting,” he said. “It is obviously a new challenge for me, I haven’t really been in a position like that before. I am excited about the challenge and I have a great group of guys around me.”
Despite being new to captaincy, Booth said the experience of players around him would help.
“I think that I am pretty lucky to have Nick Crosswell helping me by my side. He is full of experience so drawing from him and having little conversations with him will be important.”
Booth has just come off a season with the Sunwolves in Super Rugby following on from training with the Blues in 2015, making his debut for the Highlanders in 2016 and spending the season with the Hurricanes in 2018.
“[The Sunwolves] was an awesome environment to be involved in. It was pretty cool to get involved in Japanese culture and be part of something new and exciting. They played a pretty cool brand of rugby and we created some great memories that we will hold onto for a lifetime.”
Wednesday’s Turbos naming saw a mixture of regulars, new faces and returning stars named in the team.
Andre Taylor will play for the side having last worn the green and white jersey in 2009, while Fraser Stone and Nick Grogan have not played for the team since their championship winning season in 2014.
On the other side of the scale, Griffin Culver has won the race for the Turbos’ second halfback spot.
He is one of four uncapped players in the backline along with fullback Adam Boult, first five-eighth Ben Wyness and centre Josiah Maraku.
Assistant coach Aaron Good said it was an exciting bunch of players to work with.
“The whole backline are locally developed through our academy. They have played club rugby here so that is exciting, and four players will get to wear the Turbos jersey for the first time. There is a lot of talent in this region and we are keen to promote that as much as we can and play that Turbos style.”
Forwards coach Greg Fleming, who recently arrived back from Japan where he has been coaching the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, hoped the likes of Crosswell, Stone, Grogan and Fraser Armstrong would set a strong example for some of the new members of the squad.
“I am expecting the older experienced guys to teach the young fellows a few things.
“I think for our pack, it is about providing good ball. We have a great backline so if this year we can have some good stability up front and provide some good ball, we will have a good year.”
The Turbos campaign has been themed “On the Edge” by the coaches in 2019.
“It is not about being frivolous or reckless, it is about pushing ourselves to the edge in terms of challenging ourselves to be better. Our whole mindset is to drive our standards high and value each other,” Russell said.
Turbos Squad for 2019:
Nick Grogan (Varsity)
Sam Stewart (Te Kawau)
Fraser Armstrong (Old Boys-Marist)
Sione Asi (Kia Toa)
Paulo Leleisiuao (Feilding Old Boys-Oroua)
Fa’alelei Sione (Freyberg)
Sunao Takizawa (College Old Boys)
Samuela Tawake (Old Boys-Marist)
Tom Hughes (Varsity)
Fraser Stone (Kia Toa)
Liam Mitchell (Te Kawau)
Jackson Hemopo (Kia Toa)
Nick Crosswell (Feilding Yellows) (Vice captain)
Johnny Galloway (College Old Boys)
Brayden Iose (Kia Toa)
Rhys Pedersen (Old Boys-Marist)
Sione Tuipulotu (Kia Toa)
Griffin Culver (Feilding Yellows)
Jamie Booth (Varsity) (captain)
Aaron Smith (Feilding Yellows)
Otere Black (College Old Boys)
Sam Malcolm (Varsity)
Ben Wyness (Feilding Yellows)
James Tofa (College Old Boys)
Rob Thompson (Varsity)
Josiah Maraku (Feilding Yellows)
Hamish Northcott (Varsity)
Ngani Laumape (Kia Toa)
Adam Boult (Te Kawau)
Te Rangatira Waitokia (Varsity)
Ben Werthmuller (Old Boys-Marist)
Andre Taylor (College Old Boys)
Nehe Milner-Skudder (Varsity)