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Grogan, Stone confirm Turbos returns

on Friday, 12 July 2019. Posted in Turbos News

Grogan, Stone confirm Turbos returns

The Manawatu Turbos have confirmed the signings of six more players as the squad for the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season fills out.

The signings include the return of hooker Nick Grogan and lock Fraser Stone, first contracts to flanker Rhys Pedersen and wing Adam Boult and the recruitment of Counties Manukau loose forward Sione Tuipulotu and Australian prop Paulo Leleisiuao.

Coach Peter Russell was confident with how the squad was looking and said there were still a couple of contracts to be finalised over the last two preseason matches.

Stone brings a wealth of experience to the side with 64 games for the Turbos under his belt.

The 32-year-old hard-nosed lock has been out of the mix for the last three years but put his hand up for a return this season.

Stone debuted for the Turbos in 2010 and was a regular in the starting side for six years before turning his focus to his work as a diesel mechanic.

Grogan, 25, also last played for the Turbos in 2015 when he was serving as the understudy to Turbos centurion Rob Forman.

He first played for the Turbos in 2013, racking up 24 games in three season before his focus turned to his university studies and then his job at ANZ Bank.

The former New Zealand Under 20s hooker spent most of last season on the sideline injured for club side Varsity but returned midway through this season in top form.

Tuipulotu, 21, has moved to Manawatu having made a strong impact for Ardmore Marist in Counties Manukau club rugby.

The towering blindside flanker brings plenty of physicality to the team.

He is the former captain of the champion Counties Manukau Under 19 side, represented Samoa at Under 20s and trialled for the New Zealand Under 20s in 2017.

Leleisiuao has given the team some much-needed depth in the front row after signing from Brisbane Souths.

The tighthead prop is a danger around the field with his strong carries but is also a handy scrummager.

Leleisiuao is a former Reds Under 20s representative and also spent two years in the Taranaki development programme.

Pedersen, 26, will battle with Johnny Galloway for minutes at openside flanker.

The captain of Old Boys-Marist has long been on the fringes of Turbos selection with a series of concussions slowing his chances of a call-up early in his career.

But the Dannevirke product’s focus on the openside flank has helped him push his way into the squad.

Boult, 20, is one of the most exciting young outside backs in the region.

He is the fastest man in the squad and is a constant try scoring threat. On top of that, he has a booming left and is handy with the kicking tee.

Boult arrived in Manawatu in 2017 out of Cullinane College when he stormed onto the club scene as the competition’s leading tryscorer, despite being only being 17 when the competition kicked off.

After injuries impacted his 2018 season, he returned to the field this year and proven to be just as dangerous on attack, while a much-improved defender.

Boult is a graduate of the Manawatu academy programme.