New Hurricanes openside Sam Henwood makes a break for Counties Manukau during the Mitre 10 Cup. PHOTO: Getty Sport

Meet the Hurricanes final four 2018 signings

03.11.2017

Four previously unannounced players were unveiled this week in the Hurricanes 2018 Investec Super Rugby squad with Isaia Walker-Leawere, Sam Henwood, Murray Douglas and Jamie Booth joining the club.

Learn a little more about our latest signings below:

ISAIA WALKER-LEAWERE

New Zealand Under 20s lock Isaia Walker-Leawere has signed a two-year deal with the Hurricanes.

Walker-Leawere, 20, is a mobile lock who hails from Ruatoria and shifted south to Wellington in 2016 to further his rugby career and joined the Poneke Football Club.

Since arriving in Wellington he has affectionately become widely known as Izzy from Gizzy.

Standing at 1.97m and weighing around 120kg, he attended Gisborne Boys’ High School where he was a star of the first XV before being selected in the New Zealand Schools in 2015.

Walker-Leawere made his Wellington Lions debut against Hawke’s Bay in Napier in 2016 and was also selected for the first of two years in the New Zealand Under 20s squad.

His 2017 season with the Lions was cut short after six appearances due to shoulder surgery, for which he is currently in rehab. Before his surgery he gained his Wellington blazer by making his 12th appearance for the Lions - a 60-14 win over Canterbury.

Walker-Leawere is of Fijian and Maori descent. His father Kele Leawere represented Fiji 25 times and played two matches for the Pacific Islanders in 2008. Kele was also a stalwart of the Ngati Porou East Coast team in the mid to late 1990s.

SAM HENWOOD

Loose forward Sam Henwood will play his Investec Super Rugby for the Hurricanes for the next two seasons.

The 26-year-old openside will join the Hurricanes off the back of an impressive season with Counties-Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership.

Henwood is not new to Investec Super Rugby after playing two matches for the Chiefs in 2016 and has also played several seasons in Portugal where he was a star for CR Tecnico.

The Opotiki-born openside’s talents were first evident at Auckland’s King’s College where he was captain of the first XV in 2010.

He made his provincial debut for Auckland in 2011, playing four matches, before the first of two shoulder injuries curtailed his progress.

While he was on the sidelines, Henwood completed a degree in Business and Computer Science at the Auckland University of Technology before resuming his rugby career with Counties-Manukau in 2014.

MURRAY DOUGLAS

Douglas has signed with the Hurricanes for the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season.

Born in Scotland, Douglas has made a successful shift down under since first heading to New Zealand for a season of club rugby with the famous Petone club in Wellington in 2012.

Back home in Scotland he was a key member of the Heriot’s Rugby Club in Edinburgh out of which he earned four caps for the Scotland Club XV before deciding to move to Melbourne to further his career.

Douglas played his way into the Melbourne Rebels squad in 2017 and made his Investec Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs, one of three caps for the season.

He followed up his season with the Rebels with 10 appearances for Northland in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship.

Of his chance to play for the Hurricanes, Douglas said: “I'm delighted to have signed with the Hurricanes for the 2018 Super Rugby season. I've really enjoyed my time in New Zealand so far and this opportunity will allow me to continue to develop as a player with one of the best clubs in the world. I can't wait to move down to Wellington and get started with pre-season.”

JAMIE BOOTH

Jamie Booth has signed with the Hurricanes for the 2018 season.

The 23-year-old halfback is the third No.9 contracted for the Investec Super Rugby season alongside Tasman’s Finlay Christie and TJ Perenara.

Booth is coming off a strong season with Manawatu in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship and was named as the Turbos back of the year for 2017.

The Palmerston North Boys’ High School old boy was identified for higher honours during his first XV days and was a member of the New Zealand Schools team before joining Manawatu.

In 2015 he was a member of the Hurricanes Wider Training Squad and last year he earned one Super Rugby cap with the Highlanders, against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth before spending time with the Newcastle Falcons in England.

In May this year Booth was also called into the New Zealand Sevens team for a tournament in Paris.