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Gisborne pair join Magpies


Brendon O’Connor, who led the Hawke’s Bay rugby team to victory in their last successful Ranfurly Shield challenge, will be back in Magpies colours this season.

The Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union today announced the return of loosie O’Connor and the signing of Maori All Black and Hurricanes lock Isaia Walker-Leawere on a three-year contract. Both players hail from Poverty Bay and are Gisborne Boys’ High School products.

O’Connor, 29, has been plying his trade with the Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership since leaving the Magpies, playing 73 games over four years with the Tigers. A former Blues and Crusaders Super player, O’Connor played 34 first class games for the Magpies and scored 16 tries.

Walker-Leawere, 22, made his Hurricanes debut last year and is now a regular member of the Canes playing 23. He has played 22 first class games for the Wellington Lions. — HB Today

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