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Eight new players in Canterbury squad

Jack Ward

New Canterbury rugby coach Joe Maddock says hooker, halfback and props are the most challenging positions to fill.

Maddock named eight new faces in his squad for 2018.

The eight new players are Sam Beard, Phil Burleigh, Tom Christie, Whetu Douglas, Sef Fa'agase, Chris King, Greg Pleasants-Tate and Ngane Punivai.

Burleigh, Douglas, Fa'agase, King and Plesants-Tate all arrive to the province with significant Super Rugby experience from the Crusaders, Highlanders and the Queensland Reds.

Christie captained the New Zealand under-20s this year, while Beard and Punivai add to the squad's already impressive array of outside backs.

When asked whether there were any positions of interest, Maddock said hooker, halfback, and the props are always a challenge, because they are specialist positions.

Canterbury is looking to win its third title in succession.