Mr. Reliable Shannon Paku retired from the Hurricanes and Wellington rugby to take up an overseas contract at French Top 14 side Montauban following the 2008 Super 14 and his international calendar with the New Zealand Maori side.
A fleet-footed attacking outside back and dependable defender, Paku deservedly reached the milestone of 50 appearances for the Hurricanes in 2008 after debuting in 2002.
2.03-metre lock Mike Russell was the lynchpin of the Hurricanes lineout in 1996 and 1997. He was one of five founding players to play in every game in 1996 - the other four were Tana Umaga, and front rowers Mark Allen, Norm Hewitt and Phil Coffin.
Russell grew up in Whangarei and his father Lloyd locked the North Auckland scrum 52 times between 1953-1960 and was an All Black triallist.