Turbos sign key backline pair Andre Taylor and Jamie Booth
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/113393273/-

2019-06-11 05:26:43

The Manawatū Turbos have locked in five more players, including a return home for outside back Andre Taylor.

Sunwolves halfback Jamie Booth, promising outside back Te Rangatira Waitokia​, young gun centre Josiah Maraku and hooker Sam Stewart have also signed.

Taylor, 31, last played for the Turbos in 2009.

The former Hurricanes and New Zealand Māori goal-kicking fullback played in Japan between 2014 and 2018, but returned to Palmerston North this year.

Taylor has been in impressive form for College Old Boys in the club competition.

His Turbos career started in 2006 when he debuted on the right wing against Taranaki while still at Palmerston North Boys' High School.

Taylor played 33 games in four seasons with Manawatū.

Booth, last year's Manawatū Supporters' Club player of the season, will look forward to locking down the No 9 jersey, having shared the duties with Kayne Hammington since his debut in 2014.

The 24-year-old livewire attacking threat is one of the Turbos' most experienced players and will have a shot at bringing up 50 career matches, having played 42.

Booth is well travelled in his young career.

In 2015 he was called into the Blues squad. He made his Super Rugby debut with the Highlanders in 2016 after spending part of the off season with the Newcastle Falcons and he spent the 2018 season with the Hurricanes before his shift to Japan in 2019.

Waitokia, 22, will play his third season with the Turbos, having debuted in 2017 when he picked up the side's rookie-of-the-year gong.

A constant try-scoring threat, Waitokia has played 10 games for the Turbos.

He spent the early part of this season with the New Zealand Sevens development squad.

Maraku is the youngest member of the squad, at 18.

The centre, who played for the New Zealand secondary schools team last year, has handled the step up to senior rugby with ease this season.

Maraku's passing game has impressed for Feilding Yellows and he is expected to have a big future.

He has signed a three-year deal.

Hooker Stewart will head into the season with a top opportunity to take a starting role.

The 23 year old featured in all 10 matches last year, including starting the final five.

He spent most of the first round of club rugby as a loose forward, but has returned to his natural No 2 jersey for the second half of the season and once again impressed by nailing his core roles accurately.

Stewart won the Turbos' rookie of the year title last year.

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