Marty Banks will play Super Rugby for the Pulse Energy Highlanders in 2019 after an agreement was finalised between his Japanese company side NTT Docomo and the Highlanders.

Banks who played 33 games for the Highlanders between 2015-2017 will bolster the first-five stocks with young first fives Josh Ioane and Bryn Gatland already signed for the club.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark who brokered the agreement is delighted the former Buller player is returning to the club “Marty is something of a cult figure amongst our fan base, so I am sure there will be some real excitement that he’s coming back for another season with the team”.

Banks who will return to Japan post the 2019 season is looking forward to the opportunity
“in all honesty I thought I had played my last game for the landers in 2017 so to get another crack to play in the jersey is pretty special. Obviously I have some very fond memories of my time there, I really enjoyed my time living in Dunedin and playing for the Highlanders so I’m absolutely looking forward to getting back down there.”

Head Coach Aaron Mauger said “we felt with Josh and Bryn already secured , it would be great to have a player that would complement that group and be able to make a real contribution to the team, be able to secure a quality guy and former Highlander like Marty for 2019 is a real bonus. Marty is exactly what we were looking for and will fit seamlessly into the team”

Banks will return to NZ in January at the completion of the Japanese Top League.

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