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Five players to watch: Hawkes Bay

Thursday, August 9, 2018    allblacks.com    

Here are five players that will guide Hawkes Bay towards success this season.

Tiaan Falcon
 
Now into his third season with Hawke's Bay, Falcon, 21, is set to stamp himself at first five-eighths with Ihaia West having moved on. The New Zealand Under-20s first five-eighths from last season's World championship-winning side has had injury frustrations, especially in his Investec Super Rugby time with the Chiefs but even with that he showed high skill levels and by establishing a partnership for Hawke's Bay with halfback Brad Weber his future looks exciting.
 
Jonah Lowe
 
A key part of last year's side where he started all 10 games, Lowe, 22, is another set to make his mark at this level. A versatile player, he can also be thrilling with the ball in hand and touched down five times last year for the side. A former New Zealand Under-20s and NZ Secondary Schools player he was part of the Hurricanes squad earlier this year and will be looking to build on that experience during the 2018 campaign. 



Brad Weber
 
Now established in the front rank of halfbacks in New Zealand, Weber, 27, has been working his way back from a broken leg which denied him the 2017 Super Rugby campaign with the Chiefs. But, increasingly, he began to make an impact in the 2018 campaign where his speed around the field and quality of passing was vital in the side's attacking play. More of the same can be expected of him as he takes on a senior role in the Hawke's Bay side where his combination with Falcon will be pivotal.
 
Gareth Evans

 
It's one of the signs of the shape of New Zealand rugby today that a homegrown product like Evans, 27, has only appeared 10 times for his province. However, his return home last year has been timely and after a stellar finish to the Hurricanes campaign this year, his versatility in the loose forwards is bound to be a big part of the Hawke's Bay plan during the season. He will also have a key mentoring role for the young talent in the side.
 
Michael Allardice
 
Tall timber doesn't always grow in abundance out in the provinces but Allardice, 26, is a key asset for Hawke's Bay in their quest to be competitive at lineout and scrum time. Experience with the Chiefs since 2015 and 41 appearances for Hawke's Bay is backed by NZ Secondary Schools and NZ Universities selection and his contribution will be a big factor in the side's competitiveness in 2018.