7 Shute Shield players picked up to play Super Rugby in 2024
The Shute Shield is now regarded as one of the best development competitions in the world and while most fans love watching their favourite players play in their club colours, it’s also great to watch those same faces ply their trade in the professional ranks.
Here are a few names to keep an eye on in Super Rugby next year.
Cormac Daly – Randwick
The big Irish import was the most dominant lock in the Shute Shield last year and at 25, is physically and mentally ready to play Super Rugby right away. He’ll battle former Norths forward Connor Vest for a spot in the Reds’ tight five.
Otu Mausia – Western Sydney
After earning a spot in the Tongan World Cup squad on the back of a brilliant first half of the Shute Shield season, Two Blues fullback Otu Mausia has earned a full time gig with Moana Pasifika where he could join former All Black Julian Savea in the back three.
Henry O’Donnell – Northern Suburbs
Young Norths centre Henry O’Donnell will join fellow Shoreman Max Burey in Perth after impressing in the Shute Shield and during his time with the Australian U20s.
Irie Papuni – Western Sydney
Another Two Blue heading to Super Rugby and Moana Pasifika, Irie Papuni has grown into his body and at 23, still has his best rugby in front of him. Papuni played for the Junior Wallabies in 2021 then had a stint at Easts before returning to the Two Blues for the past two seasons.
Papillon Sevele – Sydney Uni
Highly regarded Sydney Uni backrower Papillon Sevele has been upgraded to a full time contract at the Western Force. Another 23-year old who probably still has a bit of growing to do, Sevele spent most of 2023 on a development contract in Perth.
Thomas Maka – Gordon
Gun Gordon hooker Thomas Maka will take his try scoring class to Apia and link up with Moana Pasifika in 2024. Maka was one of the most effective hookers in the competition in 2023, particularly at maul time. He’ll battle for game time with former Southern Districts No.2 Sama Mololo who has signed with Moana Pasifika after a strong World Cup campaign with Samoa.
Ola Tauelangi – Gordon
According to former Gordon coach Billy Melrose, Ola Tauelangi was one of the most underrated forwards in the competition. Fortunately, Tauelangi was noticed by Moana Pasifika and will join Maka, Papuni and Mausia in Super Rugby next season.