The worst-kept secret in provincial rugby is out – Tasman confirming last week that in-form wingers Sevu Reece and Mark Telea have signed for the Mitre 10 Cup champions this season.
Reece, who has been explosive for the Super Rugby champion Crusaders and the All Blacks, and Blues powerhouse Telea will form part of a hugely-potent outside back contingent at the Mako.
With players such as skipper David Havili, Will Jordan, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Fetuli Paea and Jamie Spowart already on their books, Tasman have an embarrassment of riches out wide.
With the possibility of Reece, Havili and Jordan earning All Blacks call-ups this season, this move is something of an insurance policy for the 2019 champs, leaving them with plenty of class to fall back on.
Reece formerly played NPC rugby for Waikato, Telea for Kieran Keane’s North Harbour side.
They are not the only signings designed to bolster Tasman’s title defence. Former favourites Quentin MacDonald and Kieron Fonotia, both 31, return from overseas gigs to add to the Mako mix.
Midfielder Fonotia has played for both the Ospreys and Scarlets in Wales since 2017. MacDonald has been playing for French club Oyonnax. He turned out on 78 occasions for Tasman between 2007 and 2015.
The season kicks off on September 11. All provinces are required to submit their 2020 squads to New Zealand Rugby by September 1.
Tasman’s first match is away against Counties Manukau on Saturday, September 12. Their first home game is against Northland in Blenheim on Friday, September 18.