Next Match Lions vs Tasman

Matt Proctor to lead Wellington Lions

14 August 2018

TUESDAY 14 August 2018

Respected Oriental-Rongotai midfielder Matt Proctor will lead the Wellington Lions in the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup.

The 25-year-old, who made his debut for Wellington in 2012, was named as the squad's new leader at today's season launch.

"Matt is incredibly well respected, not only in the Wellington region, but right across the country and we are all excited about what he will bring to the role," Wellington Lions head coach Chris Gibbes said.

Proctor will lead a squad that contains just three new players from last season. All three new players are props with Joel Hintz, Xavier Numia and Tietie Tuimauga all selected from Wellington club rugby.

While the Lions, Mitre 10 Cup Championship winners last season, have lost the experience of former captain Brad Shields and Julian Savea, Gibbes was more than happy with the depth in the squad and its potential.

"The over-riding thing for us is to work hard for each other and enjoy what we are doing at the same time," Gibbes said.

"We want to play a really good brand of rugby and to do that we have to work hard and that is exactly what this squad wants to do."

While the loss of Shields and Savea would be felt, Gibbes was excited to have Vaea Fifita and To'omaga-Allen available as they continue to strive for higher honours. All Blacks hooker Dane Coles was also likely to play some part in the campaign.

"Although we still have a relatively young squad there is some really experienced guys there who will be really influential on and off the field. 

"We really want to carry on the momentum we had at the end of last season and the whole squad are really excited about getting the chance to do that against what is a quality Otago side who will be turning up at Westpac Stadium on Sunday."

The Wellington Lions 2018 Mitre 10 Cup squad is:

Leni Apisai (Northern United)
Asafo Aumua (Avalon)
Dane Coles (Poneke)
James O'Reilly (Hutt Old Boys Marist)

Tolu Fahamokioa (Tawa)
Alex Fidow (Oriental-Rongotai)
Joel Hintz (Old Boys University)
Xavier Numia (Oriental-Rongotai)
Jeff Toomaga-Allen (Marist St Pats)
Tietie Tuimauga (Johnsonville)

James Blackwell (Petone)
Sam Lousi (Marist St Pats)
Will Mangos (Old Boys University)
Isaia Walker-Leawere (Poneke)

Loose forwards
Teariki Ben-Nicholas (Old Boys University)
Vaea Fifita (Wellington)
Greg Foe (Poneke)
Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone)
Du'Plessis Kirifi (Northern United)
Ardie Savea (Oriental-Rongotai)
Galu Taufale (Poneke)
Thomas Waldrom (Avalon)

Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Tawa)
TJ Perenara (Northern United)
Carlos Price (Petone)
Sheridan Rangihuna (Hutt Old Boys Marist)

First five
Jackson Garden-Bachop (Northern United)
Pakai Turia (Poneke)
TJ Va'a (Wainuiomata)

Wes Goosen (Old Boys University)
Matt Proctor (Oriental-Rongotai)
Billy Proctor (Marist St Pats)
Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)

Outside backs
Losi Filipo (Petone)
Ben Lam (Tawa)
Trent Renata (Oriental-Rongotai)
Malo Tuitama (Oriental-Rongotai)

Wider training group
Isaia Petelo (Marist St Pats)
Dale Sabbagh (Old Boys University)
Ollie Sapford (Wellington)
Pasi Uluilakepa (Petone)
Alexander Barendregt (Old Boys University)

Wellingont Lions 2018 tile 2