Can the Hurricanes defend their Super Rugby title in 2017?

The 2016 Super Rugby season is over and Hurricanes are the deserved champions after a gruelling campaign. The New Zealand-based side have shown plenty of promise in recent times but have finally won their maiden title after a hard fought victory over South Africa’s Lions at the start of August.

And while the Wellington Hurricanes have been celebrating their recent success, they must now turn their attention to the 2017 season. Preparation for the next campaign will get underway in the coming months and Chris Boyd will be keen to maintain a level of focus ahead of the upcoming season.

“Westpac Stadium” (CC BY 2.0) by  Glutnix 

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Hurricanes have one of the most talented teams in Super Rugby. On paper, it is very formidable and Boyd has a number of New Zealand’s most celebrated internationals at his disposal. Julian Savea, who finished as the top try scorer at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, is just one of the star names to grace the Wellington turf on a weekly basis.

But it won’t be easy. Everybody will be hunting the Hurricanes down as they look to displace Boyd’s men at the top of the Super Rugby ladder. At the time of writing, odds on the competition aren’t available just yet with Bet365 but they can keep you updated on the latest news and tips for the competition – and the Hurricanes will feature prominently as the defending champions.

Boyd and the Hurricanes hierarchy will be busy during the off-season as they look to prepare for the upcoming campaign. Wellington cannot afford to get complacent in the coming weeks and months, especially as everybody will now be gunning for their crown. The Hurricanes must invest heavily and astutely in order to ensure that they give themselves the best chance to defend the title.

During the pool stages, the Hurricanes were dominant – winning 11 of their 15 fixtures. In fact, they scored an incredible 458 points whilst conceding just 314; a set of figures that shows just how offensive-minded Boyd’s men were. And in the final, they were simply outstanding as they controlled proceedings from start to finish, eventually winning 20-3. They truly were a joy to watch and neutrals will be keeping a close eye on the Hurricanes next season. With a number of stars signing new, long-term deals, the Kiwis could shine for many years to come.

The Hurricanes will find it very difficult next year but if anybody can cope with the pressure of defending a league title, it is them. Chris Boyd is a superb coach and they have enough talented, experienced stars to go the distance again in 2017. Watch this space, the Hurricanes mean business – write them off at your peril…