MEDIA RELEASE– Tuesday 25 February 2014      

Richard Buckman named to replace Buxton Popoalii     


The Highlanders have named wider training group member, Richard Buckman, as the replacement squad member for Buxton Popoalii who is having heart surgery later this month.

Buckman played for Hawke’s Bay in the ITM Cup and has been a member of the Hurricanes making his Super Rugby debut in 2011 against the Lions. He impressed on his debut for the Highlanders against the Blues on Saturday night, making try saving tackles and showing explosiveness on attack. For this he has been rewarded with a full super rugby contract.

The Highlanders play the Chiefs at home in Hamilton on Saturday night with the team to be released on Thursday afternoon (NZT). Brad Thorn is out for four weeks with a rib injury and winger Patrick Osborne has been sidelined with an ankle injury and is unavailable for this week. 

Richard Buckman action



MEDIA RELEASE – Friday 22 February 2014
Highlanders Named To Play Blues in Season Opener
Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin Saturday night (7.35pm NZT). 
This is the opening game of the 2014 Investec Super Rugby competition for both New Zealand franchises.
Six players will make their first run-on start for the Highlanders; Kane Hames, Gareth Evans, Shane Christie, Patrick Osborne, Malakai Fekitoa and Richard Buckman will all pull on the Highlanders jersey for the first time, this will also be Super Rugby debuts for Hames, Evans and Fekitoa.
In the reserves Ged Robinson, Matias Diaz and Craig Millar will all make their debut if they are required on the paddock (for Diaz and Millar this will also be Super Rugby debuts should they play).
Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 22 February, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1  -Kane Hames  
2  -
Liam Coltman
3  -
Chris King  
4  -
Brad Thorn
5  -
Jarrad Hoeata  
6  -  
Gareth Evans
7  -
Shane Christie
8  -
Nasi Manu (co-captain) 
9  -
Aaron Smith  
10 -
Lima Sopoaga  
11 -
Patrick Osborne  
12 -
Shaun Treeby  
13 -
Malakai Fekitoa  
14 -
Richard Buckman  
15 -  
Ben Smith(co-captain)
Head Coach:Jamie Joseph
Assistant Coaches:Scott McLeod&Tony Brown
Unavailable due to unjury:
Elliot Dixon (hamstring – 1 week), Joe Wheeler (finger dislocation – 1-2 weeks)
Head Coach – Jamie Joseph
Assistant Coach – Scott McLeod, Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod , Skills Coach – Jon Preston
Manager – Graham Purvis

MEDIA RELEASE – Thursday 20 February 2014
Challenge announce support of the Highlanders

Check out Aaron Smith and Hayden Parker surprising Challenge customers at the
Pump by filling up their tank with free petrol from Challenge - CLICK HERE

This Super Rugby season, everything Challenge touches will turn to gold – blue, maroon and gold, that is. New Zealand’s largest locally-owned service station network has been named the official fuel supplier of the Dunedin-based Highlanders Super Rugby team.
The deal is for two years, with the option of an additional year. The deal will see the Challenge logo appearing on the back of Highlanders team shorts, in addition to providing road safety messages during games and advertising at the Highlanders Forsyth Barr Stadium base.

Challenge will also be the game day sponsors for the Highlanders vs. Hurricanes game, on Friday March 21st at Forsyth Barr Stadium. In announcing the partnership with the Highlanders, Challenge Dealer Group Chairman, Simon Bratton says although Challenge enjoys a strong base in Otago and Southland, all Challenge dealers are extremely excited to be involved with the Highlanders team.

“Challenge also operate in a dynamic, competitive environment – and we share the same sleeves-up, work hard and keep improving ethos the Highlanders have perfected,” Simon says.
The Challenge service station network is supplied by Farmlands Fuel, a division of Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited. Farmlands Fuel General Manager, Mark McHardy says Farmlands Fuel is proud to be associated with two great Kiwi names – and the partnership now established between them.
“Both the Highlanders and the Challenge network have a strong affinity with regional New Zealand, which is the same area Farmlands services every day,” Mark says.
“This is an exciting development in the evolution of the Challenge brand and we wish Jamie Joseph and the Highlanders all the best for the 2014 season.”
Highlanders General Manager, Roger Clark says he is delighted to welcome Challenge as the official fuel supplier of the Highlanders.
“The Highlanders are excited by the scope this partnership provides us through Challenges’ network, so we can further engage with the rural community,” Roger says.
“The loyal and strong support the Highlanders receive across the region and in New Zealand will assist promoting the Challenge brand – and their support of the Highlanders.”
Challenge is proud to have secured this sponsorship, showing support for sport in the country that owns and uses its services.


University of Otago named as major Highlanders sponsor

The University of Otago has become one of the major sponsors of the Highlanders, in a move primarily aimed at capitalising on the rugby franchise’s significant marketing exposure by the national and international media.

In an announcement at the Forsyth Barr Stadium today (Monday), Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says the decision to back the Highlanders Super Rugby Competition franchise was based on many strong synergies with the high-profile team representing provinces south of the Waitaki, including Otago and Southland.
This is a first for a New Zealand university, although in Australia and the US, for example, it was not uncommon for universities to support their high profile local sports athletes and teams. A principal sponsor of the Brumbies rugby franchise in Australia is the University of Canberra.

Among the opportunities for the University of Otago, the sponsorship will bring the University’s name to the back of the Highlanders’ jerseys, on the medics’ bibs, and the University’s logo will also be painted on the stadium field and appear on sideline digital signage during games at the Dunedin stadium. University television advertisements will play at the stadium during intervals, and players will involve themselves in more University events and academic initiatives.
“The Stadium and the Highlanders will be a canvas to highlight the University of Otago, which is located literally on the doorstep of this world-class facility,” she says.
During home games at the stadium, the international television broadcasting of matches meant powerful brand exposure. At other stadiums in New Zealand and overseas, including in Australia and South Africa, the international marketing benefits of having the University’s name on the jersey, visible to an average of 250,000 viewers at each game in 2013 alone, was also a major benefit of the sponsorship arrangement. “This agreement provides the University with more than just the opportunity to increase our visibility to our markets across New Zealand and overseas. “Rugby is not just a game on a Saturday night - it’s a business as well. When you look at the high-level skills that have been used to develop professional rugby success – the expertise in medical, physiotherapy, marketing and business areas, the science in clothing and nutrition – a lot of this has come from students, graduates, researchers and teachers from the University of Otago.”

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark is delighted to welcome the University of Otago to its family of major sponsors.
“We congratulate them on becoming the first university in the country to align with a professional rugby franchise in such a significant way. Good business strategy, innovation and support for the community have long been hallmarks of the University of Otago and this unique partnership certainly continues that legacy,” he says.
Mr Clark adds the University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest and finest university and an iconic brand showcasing international success from our region.
“Super Rugby and the Highlanders have a strong following within New Zealand and across the globe. We believe this association will help further our respective brands and businesses both domestically and internationally.

“We are excited about taking the field in a jersey bearing the University of Otago logo, a jersey that already means a great deal to us will mean even more now.”
Professor Hayne adds that a career within the multi-million-dollar industry of international rugby in New Zealand is among the highly satisfying occupations that Otago graduates have chosen in the past and will continue to pursue in the years to come. Moreover, some of the most prestigious universities in the world have strong sports programmes, and it was hoped the support of the Highlanders franchise, and associated benefits, would draw more of the “best and brightest” to study at Otago.
“So there are very real synergies that make this sponsorship such a great fit for our University.... not the least of which is that each year, a large group of our students are probably the most colourful and passionate fan-base of the Super Rugby Competition in New Zealand,” she says.
The University of Otago also has “a long and proud history” of nurturing some of the best Highlanders (and Otago) players, and future All Blacks, as they studied for their degrees at Otago while pursuing their rugby careers.
Professor Hayne says an important consideration of supporting the Highlanders was also the Stadium itself, and the need for the Otago and Southland community, of which the University is a part, to support it.
“The University has a commitment to the Stadium, which we use for University events, including student Orientation, and it is a safe, and a short walk from flats and colleges. Our sponsorship of the Highlanders is a clear and tangible signal of the University’s support of this world-class resource in Dunedin,” she says.
“We are New Zealand’s oldest and finest University, but we are also sometimes its shyest. The location of our main campus in Dunedin is beautiful, but we sometimes run the risk of being overlooked because the University isn’t located in one of the larger cities. It is important for our University to lead from the front and let it be known that this is a community of endless opportunity. The Highlanders are also a part of that community.”

UO Launcgh

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne is pitcured here with University of Otago graduate Craig Millar and current student Ben Smith. 


Jo Galer
Senior Communications Adviser
University of Otago
Tel: 03 4798263
Mob: 021 2798263

Amanda Gould
Marketing Manager
Tel: 03 4799280
Mob: 0212238440
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Roll call of University associations

Otago University Rugby Football Club’s history with the Highlanders
Several Otago University Rugby Football Club (OURFC) players have been Highlanders. Players include Anton Oliver, Adam Thomson, James Ryan, Tom Donnelly and Simon Maling. All five of these players were also All Blacks.
Other OURFC club members who have played for the Highlanders include Brendon Timmins, John Leslie, Justin Cullen, Mike Mika, John Blaikie, Duncan Blaikie, Josh Blackie, Nick Moore, Sean Romans, Chris Noakes, Pita Alitini, Matt Carrington, Kenny Lynn, Jason Kawau, Ryan Nicholas, Matt Berquist and Grant Webb.
*Taine Randell, former All Black Captain and former Highlanders player, is also a graduate of the University of Otago.
Highlanders players and staff who are either University of Otago current students or graduates:
Liam Coltman Working on a BPhEd degree
Ben Smith Working on a BPhEd degree
Gareth Evans BSc in Geography
Tom Franklin BCom [BusMgt]
Craig Millar BCom [Acctg]

Jamie Joseph (Head Coach)
- Bachelor of Physical Education

Dr Greg Macleod (Team Doctor)
- Bachelor of Physical Education
- Bachelor of Science (Nutrition)
- Bachelor of Physiotherapy
- Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Medicine
- Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
- Postgraduate Diploma in Child Health

Adam Letts (Physiotherapist)
- Bachelor of Science (Anatomy)
- Bachelor of Physiotherapy
- Postgraduate diploma in Sports medicine
- Postgraduate certificate in Acupuncture

Karl Houltham (Assistant Physiotherapist)
- Bachelor of Physical Education
- Bachelor of Physiotherapy
- Post Graduate Diploma (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)
- Master of Physiotherapy (Manipulative Physiotherapy)
Natalie Fraser (Mental Skills Coach)
- Diploma for Graduates (Physical Education)
- Currently completing Masters of Physical Education in Sports Psychology

Fiona Simpson (Sports Dietician)
- Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition)
- Bachelor of Physical Education
- Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics

Andrew Beardmore (Strength and Conditioning Coach)
- Bachelor of Physical Education

Mike Kerr (Commercial Manager)
- Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing/Management) –
- Diploma for Graduates (Psychology)

Amanda Gould (Finance and Marketing Manager)
- Bachelor of Commerce (International Business)

Peter Sinclair (Personal Development Manager)
- Bachelor of Arts
- Masters of Education
- Post grad Diploma in Education Psychology
- Diploma in Education

MEDIA RELEASE – Thursday 6th February 2014
Highlanders outside back Buxton Popoalii withdraws from 2014 Super Rugby season

Highlanders outside back Buxton Popoalii has withdrawn from the Highlanders for the 2014 Investec Super Rugby season to focus on recovering from surgery planned for later this month.

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark said, "Buxton has a longstanding heart condition. Recent routine tests have determined he needs further surgery, which he will undergo this month. Buxton will take a break from all rugby this year to focus on his recovery.

"While we, and Buxton himself, are devastated at this news, it is clear that he needs to focus entirely on his own health and wellbeing. Buxton is currently feeling and doing well and our medical staff are managing his care. Buxton is a very popular member of the Highlanders and we are all supporting him through what is a very difficult time.”

Buxton and his family have asked for privacy at this time, and he will not be available for media interviews.