The 2014 club rugby season in Marlborough is shaping up to be an intriguing one as an influx of new players has added an extra pinch of spice to the competition.
Most of the Marlborough premier clubs have added to their depth, with the Wadsco Marlborough Premier competition
likely to be very even this season as up to four teams could unofficially claim the favourites tag for the competition.
Last years champions Central are one of only a few clubs that have not recruited extensively in the off season but still will be hard to beat with a core of talented players, look for Jesse MacDonald to shine in their pack, he has had a big off season training and looked good in pre-season.
Waitohi are the real dark horses in the competition, they will be big and aggressive up front with Mako Vernon Fredricks and new South African prop Ross Geldenhuys likely to stamp their mark.
Awatere have a new look side this season, with a lot of new talent, especially out wide . Ex Waikato midfielder Falelima Siinei looks an exciting prospect and I have a gut feeling Billy Collins might turn some heads this season as well.
Harlequins are a strong club who are normally there or there about at semi final time. I'm expecting a big year out of Fetu Ieremia as he presses for higher honours and Dan Macdonald will be as reliable as ever behind the Harlequins pack.
Moutere surprised everyone last year by deservedly making the final. Their run to the final last season was built around a good game plan and an excellent team culture, the good news for Moutere is you can expect those team dynamics to be evident again this season. Francis Smith will be out to have a big club season as he aims to make the Makos squad again this season.
Renwick will no doubt be the spoilers in 2014 but will struggle to make the semi finals, saying that they have some quality players of their own and will be coached well by Mark Stewart.
Later in the season I also expect the Marlborough teams to be very competitive in the Bayleys Tasman Trophy
competitions. I’ll make a bold prediction now that we may have our first Marlborough champion in this competition this season.
Commercial Manager, Marlborough
Tasman Makos Manager
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