464015498

Photo Credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has kept faith with the team that beat the Stormers by naming an unchanged line up for the local derby match against the Crusaders. The Crusaders are fresh off a demolition job on the Sharks in Durban while the Highlanders return from a week off for the bye. Traditionally a close encounter both sides will be keen to maintain their recent success heading into the halfway point of the competition.

Crusaders v Highlanders, AMI  Stadium, Christchurch – Saturday 11th April, 7.35pm (NZT)

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Nasi Manu ( c )

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Shaun Treeby

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves:

16. Liam Coltman

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Pingi Tala’apitaga

19. Mark Reddish

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Jason Emery

Unavailable:  Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (shoulder),Ross Geldenhuys (Thumb) John Hardie (ankle)

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

End

highlanders v hurricanes 0083

Photo credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Highlanders Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made only two changes to his starting pack to play the South African conference leaders, the Stormers, at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night in Dunedin. Hooker, Ash Dixon, will start ahead of Liam Coltman and openside flanker, James Lentjes, will make his Super Rugby debut starting in the number 7 jersey. Lentjes made a good impression with Otago during the ITM cup and has joined the squad as injury cover for Shane Christie and John Hardie.  Dan Pryor moves to the bench, while the backline remains unchanged from last week. 

Highlanders v Stormers, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 28th March, 7.35pm (NZT)
1.  Brendon Edmonds
2.  Ash Dixon
3.  Josh Hohneck
4.  Tom Franklin
5.  Joe Wheeler
6.  Elliot Dixon
7.  James Lentjes
8.  Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9.  Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves:
16. Liam Coltman
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Pingi Tala’apitaga
19. Mark Reddish
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (knee), Kane Hames (suspended) Ross Geldenhuys (Thumb) John Hardie (ankle)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

End

highlanders v hurricanes 0081

Credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Highlanders co-captain Nasi Manu has signed for Scottish club Edinburgh and will leave at the end of the current Investec Super Rugby season. Manu has played 53 games for the Highlanders and has been co-captain with Ben Smith for the last two seasons.

“Believe me it was a very hard decision to leave the Highlanders, my team mates, my friends and family. This place, this team, it gets under your skin, becomes part of you and I will always treasure my time here” said Manu.

“Obviously I want to go out on a good note and I am keen to finish off my time here really successfully and that’s my focus at the moment. I know when the time comes to go it’s going to be tough. We have built such a great environment here; a lot of players have come down and played their best rugby with the Highlanders. I think it’s because we are all pretty close, a lot of us aren’t from here but they adopt you pretty quick in this place, it’s a great town to live and work in, a village really and that’s what I love about it”

Head coach Jamie Joseph wishes Manu well in the future “Nacho has been one of our key players for a number of years, a fearless player and inspiring leader. We often refer to family when talking about the team and he has been an invaluable member of that family, we all wish him the best for his time in Scotland. We know he will take some of the Highlander spirit with him as he goes”

General Manager Roger Clark said “Nasi is a real Highlander man; he represents a lot of what we stand for on and off the field.  His legacy will be that he made a significant contribution to the team and the culture and moved the Highlanders forward; we are a better team now than when he arrived. That’s about all you can ask really”.

Ends

It will be a different looking “Zoo” for the Highlanders versus Stormers match on Saturday. Instead of super heroes and all manner of animals chanting their support there will be junior rugby players from all over the region dressed in their club jerseys.

The promotion under the “We Love Rugby” brand is to reward registered junior players within the Highlanders franchise with a free ticket to the match. Highlander’s commercial manager Mike Kerr said “with the Zoo not being open due to University mid semester break, it was too good an opportunity to miss to do something for our junior fans and support junior rugby registration days in our region”

Kerr added “We Love Rugby” is a concept that originated in the Deep South to celebrate all forms of the game. We saw no better way to start than by acknowledging our youngest and most important members of the rugby community. The plan is to hold a “We Love Rugby” round each year, next year incorporating coaches, referees and volunteers.”

All registered junior club players 13 and under will receive an invitation from Ben Smith to attend the game free but must wear their club colours. “I am thrilled to be inviting our regions junior players to come along and watch us play. I remember when I used to play for Green Island Grizzlies with my mates; we would have jumped at a chance to go to the footy in our colours” said Smith

“We are hopeful the junior players will come along with their brothers, sisters, and parents to lend their support. Every player in the Highlanders has been a junior club player at some stage and I know the team will appreciate the young fans coming along. There will be a relay race at halftime to find the fastest junior club and giveaway some prizes. The first 500 junior players through the gate will receive a free rugby ball as a memento of the occasion. Also as a special treat we are bringing back the good old days by letting all the kids run on the ground at the conclusion of the match. We really want it to be a good night out for our future Highlanders and their families” said Kerr

Benders Shout

 

Ends

highlanders v waratahs 0078

Photo Credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

The team to take on the NZ Conference leader’s tomorrow night features Dan Pryor returning from injury to take his place on the side of the scrum. He replaces Shane Christie who was forced to withdraw from the starting team during the warm up last Saturday with a hamstring injury. Gareth Evans who came out of the grandstand to play his second game of the day against the Waratahs is also in the game day 23. Daniel Leniert-Brown who was bought into the squad following the season ending injury to Ma’afu Fia will potentially make his Super Rugby debut from the bench.

The backline has a settled look to it with same line up taking the field for the third game in a row.

Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 20th March, 7.35pm (NZT)

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Dan Pryor

8.   Nasi Manu ( co-Captain )

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Shaun Treeby

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( co-Captain)

 

Reserves:

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Leniert-Brown

18. Pingi Tala’apitaga

19. Mark Reddish

20. Gareth Evans

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Jason Emery

 

Unavailable:  Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (knee), Kane Hames (suspended) Ross Geldenhuys (Thumb) John Hardie (ankle)

 

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

End