Tasman's loose forward stocks have been bolstered by the arrival earlier this week of New Zealand under-20 No 8 Jordan Taufua.
The 105kg and 1.82m loosie is on loan from the Canterbury Rugby Union, and has been called in to help fill a void after flanker Liam Squire broke his ankle while playing for Marist against Nelson in the Tasman Trophy club final almost five weeks ago.
Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Andrew Flexman said Taufua was a key component of New Zealand's recent IRB Junior World Cup campaign in South Africa, and had already been busy training with the Makos ahead of their ITM Cup season.
"He's pretty athletic. He'll be a jumping option for us," said Flexman.
"He's pretty fleet-footed, so we're thrilled about him because obviously with Liam going down, that's just a big part of the jigsaw filled."
Taufua was also a member of the Crusaders Knights development squad.
Originally out of Sacred Heart College in Auckland, he moved south and has been playing club rugby for Lincoln University.
However, Taufua's arrival has been offset by news that a previous Tasman ITM Cup signing, wing Tenina Sauileoge, ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee while playing for his Papatoetoe club in Auckland two weeks ago and could be sidelined for up to six months.
Until his injury, Sauileoge had been the leading tryscorer on the Auckland club scene.
"The injury curse seems to be a problem for us at the moment," Flexman said, although the news was looking much more positive for Tom Marshall, who damaged his shoulder, also during the Tasman Trophy final.
Flexman confirmed that Marshall was unlikely to require surgery and would hopefully be available for the early part of the Makos' ITM Cup campaign.
Thursday July 26 2012 01:59 a.m.