Jamie Joseph has named a squad of 30 to take on the Crusaders in Oamaru, with nine players on international duty the squad features a number of replacement provincial players. At halfback, Te Aihe Toma (Bay of Plenty) and Jamie Booth (Manawatu) will make their debuts for the Highlanders as Joseph looks to build depth to replace Aaron Smith and Fumiaki Tanaka.  Hame Faiva (Waikato) is included for an injured Liam Coltman while Otago midfielders Michael Collins and Faasiu Fuatai provide cover in the midfield.

The game is an important part of the build up for the team as they look to get ready for their road trip to South Africa and Argentina. A squad of 26 players will depart on Saturday morning to prepare to take on the Kings in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Crusaders – Whitestone Contracting Stadium, Oamaru, Thursday 23rd June 3.05pm

1.   Aki Seiuli

2.   Greg Pleasants-Tate

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Mark Reddish

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Gareth Evans

7.   Shane Christie (C)

8.   Luke Whitelock

9.   Te Aihe Toma

10. Marty Banks

11. Ryan Tongia

12. Rob Thompson

13. Jason Emery

14. Jack Wilson

15. Matt Faddes


Ash Dixon,  Daniel Lienert-Brown,  Ross Geldenhuys,  James Lentjes, Dan Pryor,  Jamie Booth,  Fletcher Smith, Teihorangi Walden, Michael Collins, Faasiu Fuatai, Hame Faiva, Tom Franklin, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Jackson Hemopo, Craig Millar


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

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Coltman (foot), Alex Ainley (calf)

Unavailable due to International Commitments: Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Waisake Naholo, Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Lima Sopoaga (All Blacks), Fumikai Tanaka (Japan). Patrick Osborne (Fiji)


The Pulse Energy Highlanders are back in camp and preparing for a match against the Crusaders in Oamaru on Thursday 23rd June. The match will be vital preparation for the team heading into the critical final three rounds of the 2016 Investec Super Rugby competition. The team will depart on its road trip to South Africa to take on the Kings and then on to play the Jaguares in Argentina before returning to Dunedin to play the Chiefs.

Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, knows the benefit of game time for his players, “to have a game of this calibre in the June break is really important to our preparation, a few of the guys have played some club rugby but it’s good to get the available players back into camp and get a bit of buzz going again”.

The game will be an opportunity to give the whole squad a run while the international players are away, “obviously with All Blacks away and Paddy (Osborne) and Fumi (Tanaka) with Fiji and Japan we can get some good field time under the belt for the whole squad before we jump on the plane for Africa”.

North Otago CEO, Colin Jackson, said the town is looking forward to the game “to have two quality sides like the Highlanders and Crusaders playing in Oamaru is great for our local rugby fraternity and the wider community. It’s a real celebration of South Island rugby”.

The venue for the match is Whitestone Contracting Stadium, kick off is at 3pm - tickets available from www.ticketdirect.co.nz or any Ticket Direct outlet.



TonyBrown Scott Mcleod Mark Hammett

Scott McLeod and Mark Hammett appointed Assistant Coaches


One of Otago’s favourite sons, Tony Brown has been appointed Head Coach of the Pulse Energy Highlanders for 2017, along with an exciting new coaching team, the southern club and New Zealand Rugby announced today.

Brown, who has been Assistant Coach to Jamie Joseph since 2014, will be joined next year by fellow former All Blacks Scott McLeod who will continue as Assistant Coach and experienced Investec Super Rugby coach Mark Hammett set to return to the South Island as a new Highlanders Assistant Coach.

A former coach of Otago and Japanese club the Panasonic Knights, Brown will return to Japan in 2018 to take up a role with the Japanese national team.

Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said: “We are delighted with this appointment; we said at the outset that we were looking to replace Jamie Joseph with a proven coach with a successful track record and we certainly believe Tony fits that description. Ideally we would have liked his appointment to be longer however, we are excited by the coaching group we have appointed for 2017 and are confident we will find a quality replacement for Tony in the time frame we have available.”

McLeod and Hammett, who is currently coaching new Super Rugby club the Sunwolves, have both signed through to 2019.

Brown said he was excited and humbled at the opportunity to take the top job for the 2017 season.

“I wasn’t sure the timing was right for me, but having spoken to people inside and outside the organisation, I know now that this is too good an opportunity to pass up.  Knowing that I will have Stormy (McLeod) and Hammer (Hammett) with me was an important part of the decision and I’m excited at the prospect of working with them next year.”

Scott McLeod has been Assistant Coach since 2013 and while his current contract ends this season, he was happy to recommit to 2019.

“Obviously whenever you finish a contract you have to weigh up all your options and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision, but I get a lot of satisfaction from working with the current group of players and coaches.  The family has also settled well into Dunedin and with some fresh challenges for the club on the horizon, the best option was to recommit to the Highlanders.”

Mark Hammett brings a wealth of experience to the assistant coach role.  In 2013 and 2014 he was the Head Coach of the Hurricanes before taking up a similar role with Cardiff Blues the following season. He became the first head coach of the Japanese expansion club the Sunwolves this year.

“Clearly what Jamie and the team have accomplished is outstanding. All I really want to do is make a contribution to the group from what I have learned over the last few years as a head coach, assist Brownie and Stormy as much as I can, and build on the good work that has already being done. The opportunity to work with the Highlanders is very motivating for me and I am looking forward to it,” Hammett said.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby, Neil Sorensen welcomed the appointments as a fantastic outcome for the Highlanders team, club, and fans.

“It’s outstanding that Brownie is stepping up to the Head Coach role, as he is incredibly well regarded by players and management alike.  While we would have loved to have had him commit for longer, we’re also excited for him knowing he’s got Japan to look forward to as they prepare to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

“As with a lot of our coaching talent overseas, we look forward to seeing Brownie come back with some great international experience,” Sorensen said.


For further information contact:

Greg O’Brien for Highlanders

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

M: 021384784

Juli Clausen
Senior Media Advisor
D: +64 (0)4 474 7276
M: +64 (0)27 570 70 45
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Hurricanes v Pulse Energy Highlanders - Westpac Stadium, Dunedin, Friday 27th May 7.35pm

Returning from their bye round Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph has made only two changes to his starting line-up that beat the Crusaders in round 12. Tom Franklin will start at lock for Joe Wheeler who drops out of the 23 for this week and Daniel Lienert-Brown, who was a late withdrawal for the Crusaders match, will start at loosehead.

Luke Whitelock had a standout game against the Crusaders and again keeps the in-form Liam Squire on the bench, while Mark Reddish is included in the match day team for the first time since round 7. The game will be massive for both sides as they are separated by a single point on the table, both clubs will be desperate to head into the June break with a win.

NZ rugby has designated round 13 as the “diversity round” . NZ Super Rugby teams will wear a range of brightly coloured laces to highlight diversity in rugby. It is a symbolic gesture to illustrate rugby is a game for everyone, no matter what size, shape, nationality, religion or gender. Joseph commented “our team is particularly diverse, I think we have at least six different nationalities in our squad, all with different backgrounds and cultures but it’s our love of the game that binds us together. That’s the beauty of rugby, it doesn’t discriminate, it’s come one, come all”

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Tom Franklin

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Dan Pryor

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)


16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Siosiua Halanukonuka

19. Mark Reddish

20. Liam Squire

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Teihorangi Walden

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Coltman (foot), Josh Renton (knee) Shane Christie (hamstring)

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

Highlanders v Lions 0029

Photo Credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Pulse Energy Highlanders wing Patrick Osborne has re-committed to with the club for the 2017 season. The exciting wing has played 47 games for the Highlanders since his debut in 2014 and has formed a lethal partnership with fellow Fijian Waisake Naholo. Osborne will play for Japanese club Kubota Spears later this year before returning to Dunedin for the 2017 Investec Super Rugby season. He has made himself available for the Fijian national team in the June international window.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said “Clearly we are delighted the Pat has committed to the team again, he very much represents who we are, and how we want to play as a club. He has been a great ambassador for rugby in New Zealand, has inspired many young Highlanders and Canterbury fans and we fully support his pursuit of an international career.”

Having formerly played for the Crusaders and Chiefs Osborne has enjoyed his time in the deep South. “My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Dunedin, in the Highlanders’ environment and are happy to recommit for 2017.”

Osborne said his decision to sign in Japan and play for Fiji was about family and the pride of playing for his country “I have been honoured to spend time in the All Black’s environment but am very proud of where I come from and have decided to commit myself to the Fijian team it’s an exciting new challenge that my family and I are looking forward to.”