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New Zealand Rugby has been presented Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph with a pounamu mere in recognition of his 100 games at the helm for the Highlanders.

The traditional gift was presented by former Highlanders Coach and coaching mentor Tony Gilbert at a farewell function for Jamie Joseph.

Joseph began his NZ coaching career in Wellington eventually guiding the Lions to Ranfurly Shield success in 2008 as well as national championship finals in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 Jamie was appointed Maori All Blacks Coach and he guided them to a clean sweep against the New Zealand Barbarians, before taking on Ireland and a famous victory over England. He took over the reins of the Highlanders in 2011 with his debut being a win against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Known as an uncompromising coach with old fashioned values and strong work ethic, he has fashioned the Highlanders into a formidable team who have enjoyed success through most of his era, particularly at their Dunedin fortress Forsyth Barr Stadium. However, his tenure will forever be remembered for delivering the Highlanders their first ever Investec Super Rugby title in 2015.

“Jamie has left a legacy here that will stand this club in good stead for many seasons to come, you simply can’t ask for more than that from your coach. We thank him for his contribution and wish him and his family all the best in the future,” said Highlanders CEO Roger Clark.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said Joseph's contribution to rugby has been outstanding.

"What Jamie has been able to achieve in rugby down South is the stuff of legends. We knew that when Jamie first joined the Highlanders, that as a former son of Otago, he would be welcomed by rugby fans there.

"Jamie has been a big part of the Highlanders popularity and success. Under his watch, several Highlanders have earned higher honours with the All Blacks and Maori All Blacks bringing success that any coach would be proud of," he said.

"We are excited for Jamie as he heads to Japan - the hosts of the next Rugby World Cup - and we wish him well for the future," Sorensen said.

#WeAreHighlanders

 
#WeAreHighlanders

The fast-paced, flowing nature of rugby tens will suit the Highlanders down to the ground as they challenge for the inaugural Brisbane Global Tens rugby title next February, says captain Ben Smith.

The 2015 Super Rugby champions were eliminated from this season’s competition despite a courageous display in Johannesburg at the weekend, however Smith is already looking forward to the next chance to add to the team’s trophy cabinet.

“We love fast footy, and it’s certainly been a trait teams are developing and working on right across the competition,” Smith said. “For us, it’s going to be a great way to hit the 2017 season running, in a great festival type format that we know our team is absolutely going to love! We have lots of fans in Queensland and we can’t wait to get there and play in front of them and our travelling kiwi supporters in this awesome event.”

Played at Brisbane’s incredible Suncorp Stadium on February 11 and 12, the Brisbane Global Tens features all 10 New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby clubs plus French powerhouse Toulon, Japan’s Robbie Deans-coached Panasonic Wild Knights, South Africa’s Blue Bulls and the Samoan national team.

Teams featuring the game’s biggest stars will compete in ten-a-side matches over 10-minute halves in pool play and then knockout matches.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark encouraged fans to travel to Brisbane to experience the event and support the team.

“The opportunity for us to continue to grow the popularity of our game and brand is really exciting,” Clark said.

“The festival event is going to attract new fans for our team, the competition and the sport, whilst creating a fantastic must-do event for our long-standing fans.”

Tickets, which go on sale to general public in New Zealand from Thursday, August 11, can be purchased from www.ticketek.com.au/BrisbaneTens

For more information on corporate packages and travel package specials visit the official Brisbane Global Tens website at www.brisbaneglobaltens.com or https://sportsnetholidays.com/events/rugby/brisbane-global-tens-2017/

Coach Tony Brown believes the tournament will play a vital role in the team’s pre-season preparations.

“Pre-season is a really significant phase of competition preparation for our team – physically, mentally and culturally,” Brown said.

“We travel so well as a group and to have the opportunity to test our fitness and conditioning in a unique format will give us great indication of where we are at as a team. As Ben said, we love fast footy, so an event like this is going to really spin our wheels”.  

Brisbane Global Tens

  • All ten Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby clubs and four elite invitational teams will compete (in 2017 the event will feature Toulon, the Bulls, Samoa and the Panasonic Wild Knights)
  • Ten-players-per-side, ten-minutes-per-half, knockout tournament
  • Culmination of a week-long festival of rugby
  • 16 hours of compelling live rugby, featuring 28 matches played over two days
  • Broadcast live across Australia, New Zealand, UK, Japan, Africa, France and other major international markets
  • Held annually on the second weekend of February, two weeks prior to the start of the Super Rugby season, at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
  • Launches the rugby season in Australia and New Zealand
  • Sanctioned by the Australian Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Union
  • Tickets on sale in New Zealand from Thursday August 11. Visit www.ticketek.com.au/BrisbaneTens
  • For more information on corporate packages and travel package specials visit the official Brisbane Global Tens website at www.brisbaneglobaltens.com or https://sportsnetholidays.com/events/rugby/brisbane-global-tens-2017/

ENDS

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will enter the Lion’s den on Saturday afternoon knowing that if they can contain the top South African side, a third ever Investec Super Rugby Final beckons. The Lions who easily despatched the Crusaders last week have lain in waiting as the travelling Highlanders moved camps from Canberra to Johannesburg earlier in the week. The game will be the Highlanders first daytime match of the season and the 3pm kick off (1am Sunday NZT) should ensure the match is played in excellent conditions. Both teams have shown a desire to move the ball throughout the season and the game is shaping up as a classic encounter.

Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made a few changes to his starting forward pack bringing in loose forward, James Lentjes, for Shane Christie and lock, Alex Ainley, replaces Luke Whitelock who moves to number eight. The starting backline from the quarter final win against the Brumbies remains intact with the talented back three of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne likely to see a lot of ball during the match.

The Highlanders will employ a six forward, two back bench for this week, with hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate, prop Ross Geldenhuys and lock Joe Wheeler added to the squad. In the backs the versatile Marty Banks makes his return from injury to take his place on the bench.

Lions v Pulse Energy Highlanders – 3.00pm, Saturday 30th  July, Emirates Stadium, Johannesburg (SAT) (1.00am Sunday 31st July NZT)

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Tom Franklin

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Luke Whitelock

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Malakai Fekitoa

13. Matt Faddes

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( C )

 

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Joe Wheeler

20. Liam Squire

21. Dan Pryor

22. Te Aihe Toma

23. Marty Banks

 

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod Manager: Paul McLaughlan

Unavailable due to injury: Siosuia Halanukonuka

END

After finishing fifth on the table at the end of the regular season the Pulse Energy Highlanders will take on the Australian Conference winners and sole remaining Australian team the Brumbies in the quarter finals this Friday night.

The starting team has just two personnel changes with No.8 Liam Squire gaining a start after impressing from the bench last week, meaning a shift for the versatile Luke Whitelock to lock. After recovering from illness co-captain Shane Christie is back on the side of the scrum replacing James Lentjes, Christie has missed the last two matches but has been passed fit to play and will make his 11th appearance for the season. Prop Josh Hohneck and hooker Ash Dixon will celebrate their 50th Super Rugby game.

Head Coach Jamie Joseph has returned to the more conventional 5/3 split on the bench with Rob Thompson coming in as the extra back and lock Alex Ainley missing out on the playing 23 this week.

 

Brumbies v Pulse Energy Highlanders - GIO Stadium, Canberra, Fri 22 July 6.00pm (AEST) 8.00pm (NZT)

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Luke Whitelock

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie ( cc )

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Malakai Fekitoa

13. Matt Faddes

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( cc )

 

Reserves

16. Liam Coltman

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Siosiua Halanukonuka

19. Mark Reddish

20. Dan Pryor

21. Te Aihe Toma

22. Fletcher Smith

23. Rob Thompson

 

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod Manager: Paul McLaughlan

Unavailable due to injury: Marty Banks

 

END

Seven All Blacks and a 50th game milestone are the significant features of the team named by Head Coach Jamie Joseph. Returning to the team are All Blacks Elliot Dixon, Aaron and Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa and Waisake Naholo. Patrick Osborne will play his 50th Super rugby game.

Apart from Dixon, Joseph has bought in Joe Wheeler, Siosuia Halanukonuka and James Lentjes to freshen the forward pack for what is expected to be a tough forward battle against a Pumas laden Jaguares.

“The Jaguares forwards were very good against the Bulls in wet conditions last week so we are anticipating a big game up front” said Joseph.

Aaron Smith will be a welcome return at halfback and will have a key role in directing the team around the field while Captain Ben Smith will be a threat to the Jaguares defence from the back. The return of Fekitoa and Naholo will provide plenty of speed and power to the Highlanders out wide.

Jaguares v Pulse Energy Highlanders ,Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, Sat 8th July 6.40pm

1.   Josh Hohneck

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Siosuia Halanukonuka

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Luke Whitelock

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith (C)

 

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Mark Reddish

20. Dan Pryor

21. Te Aihe Toma

22. Fletcher Smith

23. Matt Faddes

 Head Coach: Jamie Joseph Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod Manager: Paul McLaughlan

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Coltman (foot), Alex Ainley (calf),Daniel Lienert-Brown (Leg),Liam Squire (concussion), Shane Christie

END