New captain for 2019 Meat Blacks

Murray Taggart
Alliance chairman, Murray Taggart, sees no pressing reason for a dramatic change in the coming year to this year’s strong performance for the co-operative in venison.

One of the final jobs of 2018 is to take a look at the 2019 Meat Blacks team that will lead the sector next year.

There haven’t been too many adjustments to make, though the sector has had a couple of big retirements from the leadership, lock Sir Graeme Harrison (ANZCO) and number eight James Parsons (B+LNZ Ltd) have departed this year. Linesman Martyn Dunne also retired from MPI and has been replaced by Ray Smith, fresh from Corrections (Ed: appropriately!).

As a result, we have a new captain Murray Taggart (Alliance), promoted from vice-captain, and new vice-captain Tony Egan (Greenlea Premier Meats) to lead the team.

New for next year, the sixth time the team has run out onto the paddock, are Simon Gatenby (Taylor Preston) who has replaced Collier Isaacs (formerly of FarmIQ) at number six. Andrew Morrison (B+LNZ Ltd) who has come into the team at number four and Federated Farmers’ meat and wool chair Miles Anderson has entered at number eight. Sam Lewis (AFFCO) has moved to the coaching team and has been replaced by that company’s new chief executive Nigel Stephens. There’s also a new team doctor, Dr Cameron Craigie (AgResearch) and nutritionist Fiona Greig (B+LNZ Inc) and new cheerleaders Nick Taylor (Deer Industry NZ) and Rowena Hume (Beef + Lamb NZ Ltd).

2019 Meat Blacks

  1. Loosehead Prop – Simon Limmer (Silver Fern Farms)
  2. Hooker – Rob Hewett (Silver Fern Farms)
  3. Tighthead Prop – Tony Egan (Greenlea Premier Meats, Vice-Captain)
  4. Lock – Andrew Morrison (B+LNZ Ltd) NEW!!
  5. Lock – Craig Hickson (Progressive Meats) – New Captain
  6. Blindside Flanker –  Simon Gatenby, (Taylor Preston) NEW!!
  7. Openside Flanker – Peter Conley (Anzco)
  8. Number 8 – Miles Anderson (Fed Farmers Meat & Fibre) NEW!!
  9. Half-back – Gerard Hickey (Firstlight Foods)
  10. 1st 5/8 – Murray Taggart (Alliance, Captain)
  11. 2nd 5/8 – Fred Hellaby, Wilson Hellaby
  12. Centre – David Surveyor (Alliance Group)
  13. Left Wing – Katie Milne (Federated Farmers chair)
  14. Right Wing – Dan Coup (Deer Industry New Zealand)
  15. Fullback – Nigel Stephens (AFFCO)

On the bench: Dr Tom Richardson (AgResearch), Ian Walker (Deer Industry New Zealand chair), David Wright (RMPP), Andy Duncan (Duncan NZ Ltd), Scott O’Donnell (Blue Sky Meats), John Sadler (Mountain River Venison) and Tim Harrison (Advanced Marketing).

Team management: John Loughlin (Meat Industry Association). Coaching team: head coach Mike Petersen (NZ agricultural trade envoy) Sam Robinson (SFF board); forwards , Tim Ritchie (MIA); and backs Sam McIvor (B+LNZ), Sir James Wallace ONZM, Sam Lewis (AFFCO). Strategy: Ian Proudfoot (KPMG). Statistics: Rob Davison ONZM/Andrew Burtt (B+LNZ Ltd). Team doctor: Dr Cameron Craigie. NEW!! Nutritionist: Fiona Greig NEW!!. Waterboy: Malcolm Bailey (Red Meat Profit Partnership).

Support team: Rod Slater (B+LNZ Inc), Nick Beeby (B+LNZ Ltd), Stephen Jacobi (NZIBF), Rowena Hume (B+LNZ Ltd), NEW!! Justin Courtney (SFF), Chris Bristol, (Alliance), Janet Wright (ANZCO), Julie McDade (Greenlea), Nick Taylor (DINZ) NEW!!, Trevor Walton (DINZ/Wham), and the Iron Maidens.

Referee: Damien O’Connor (Minister for Agriculture). Linesmen: Ray Smith (MPI) NEW!! and Jeff Grant (OSPRI). TMO: Nathan Guy.

The 2019 Meat Blacks will be tackling some huge climate change and workforce forwards, with some scrums around Brexit, the EU-NZ free trade agreement (FTA), UK-NZ FTA and the US/China trade issues.

Strategic play, including the Red Meat Story, will need to be kept smart and fast-moving.

Update 21-12-18: the Support team has been re-named.

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