Highlanders & You! This is your team... secure your 2017 Match Tickets Now!  

Buy Reds Tickets

 

Match Ticket Prices

Contact Us

Contact Form

Contact Information

Phone: +64 3 479 9280
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Location map

Highlanders Location

Highlanders World Wide Headquarters
Level 1, High Performance Sport NZ Building
130 Anzac Ave
Dunedin 9016

Highlanders Mailing Address

PO Box 6070
Dunedin 9059
New Zealand

Thanks

Thank you for your enquiry! We will be in touch soon.

Your Landers

Highlanders tartanThe Alliance

A very special alliance was formed in 1995 between the three provincial rugby unions south of the Waitaki River. This alliance was named the Otago Highlanders and it was formed in order to do battle in the new Super 12 competition the following year in 1995. After five years in the competition, Otago was removed from the name: since then the team has been known simply as the ‘Highlanders’…a name which fully acknowledges the power of the three unions and which better reflects the Highlanders’ region as a whole.

The Highlanders is one of five professional rugby teams from New Zealand that competes in the Investec Super Rugby competition.  The Highlanders have undertaken significant change since the Super Rugby competiion began and is a separate business from the Otago Rugby Football Union.  The Highlanders Rugby Club Limited Partnership is a stand-alone entity, with clear objectives and goals – all of which fit within the strategic plan of the business.

The Heritage

The earliest settlers in this southern area were Maori - the iwi of Waitaha, Ngati Mamoe and Rapuwi followed by Ngai (Kai) Tahu. However it was to the predominantly Scottish settlers who emigrated in 1848 that the Highlanders name and colours owed their origin. The word ‘Otago’ is an English construction of the Maori word, Otakou, the Ngai Tahu settlement on the peninsula. These early Scottish settlers arrived in ships such as the Philip Laing and the John Wickliffe, carrying family names such as Cargill, Macandrew and Burns. They founded Dunedin, which was the old Gaelic name for Edinburgh. So close was the resemblance between the new home and the old that Dunedin soon became known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. The Scottish heritage is there for all to see in Oamaru, Dunedin and Invercargill; in the architecture and the street names; and in the statue of Robbie Burns in the Octagon in Dunedin.

The Name

There is more to the Highlander than heritage, tradition and living history. The name and image of the Highlander conjures up visions of fierce independence, pride in one's roots, loyalty, strength, kinship, honesty and hard work. Highlanders are traditionally conservative and shaped by enduring values, balanced by action, flare and imagination. There is a unity borne from adversity; Highlanders work hard and play hard - a tight-knit bunch not to be challenged lightly.

The Insignia

The Highlanders insignia represents a strong and proud warrior battling on the craggy highlands of Scotland. He stands with his arms raised in defiance, in a rampant stance, proud and strong, ready for any challenge that should come his way. In one hand he brandishes a claymore; in the other hand a shield - attack and defence in perfect balance. Modern-day Highlanders play their rugby the same way - ferocious in attack, tenacious in defence. The colours of the emblem and jersey have direct links to the three provinces that make up the Highlanders franchise: gold for North Otago; blue for Otago; maroon for Southland.

United We Stand

Our three unions have come together to form this strong southern alliance and are part of something special - we play for each other as a team, we play for our loyal and staunch supporters. Come rain, hail or shin our vocal supporters will be there willing our team to win. Being a Highlander means being prepared, being accountable, and being responsible. When our warriors pull on the jersey they represent a proud group of players, they represent all those who have worn the jersey before them, and all those who will proudly wear the jersey in time… they also represent family, bloodlines, this province, and the loyal fans.

All Highlanders be humble, be accessible, be proud in defence, be defiant in attack… be your best!

Blank article

 

Player Profiles

See a complete list of the current Highlanders squad. Each player has a brief profile outlining the high points of their careers to date, player statistics, and number of caps for the Highlanders and All Blacks.

Ben Smith

SMITH Ben small

Ben
Smith

#160

Wing/Fullback

Elliot Dixon

Elliot Dixon

Elliot
Dixon

#194

Number 8

Joe Wheeler

JoeyWheeler

Joe
Wheeler

#197

Lock

Hayden Parker

PARKER Hayden small

Hayden
Parker

#201

First five-eighth

Jason Emery

Jason Emery

Jason
Emery

#204

Midfield Back

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

Aaron
Smith

#175

Halfback

Lima Sopoaga

Lima Sopoaga

Lima
Sopoaga

#176

First Five-Eighth

Liam Coltman

Liam Coltman

Liam
Coltman

#199

Hooker

Shane Christie

ShaneChristie

Shane
Christie

#212

Loose Forward

Gareth Evans

GarethEvans

Gareth
Evans

#217

Loose Forward

Malakai Fekitoa

FEKITOA Malakai small

Malakai
Fekitoa

#213

Centre

Tom Franklin

TomFranklin

TomFranklin

#221

Lock

Patrick Osborne

PatrickOsbourne

Patrick
Osborne

#215

Wing

Richard Buckman

RichardBuckman

Richard
Buckman

#211

Utility Back

Craig Millar

Craig Millar

Craig
Millar

#220

Loosehead Prop

Matt Faddes

 MattFaddes

Matt
Faddes

 #244

Centre/Wing

Siosiua Halanukonuka

 SiosuiaHalanukonuka

Siosiua
Halanukonuka

Tighthead prop

#246

Jackson Hemopo

Jackson Hemopo

Jackson
Hemopo

#241

Lock/loose forward

Greg Pleasants-Tate

 Greg Pleasants-Tate

Greg
Pleasants-Tate

 Hooker

#249

Guy Millar

 Guy Miller 01

Guy
Millar

 Prop

#

Aki Seiuli

 Aki Seuili 01

Aki
Seiuli

 Hooker

#250

Kayne Hammington

Kayne Hammington 01

Kayne
Hammington

 

Halfback

Jon Preston - Skills Coach

Jon Preston

Jon
Preston

Skills Coach

Scott McLeod

Scott Mcleod

Scott
McLeod

Assistant Coach

Tony Brown

TonyBrown

Tony
Brown

Head Coach

Clarke Dermody

ClarkeDermody

Clarke
Dermody

Scrum Coach

Mark Hammett

Mark Hammett 01

Mark
Hammett

Assistant Coach

Graham Purvis

Spontaneous Moments Photography Ltd025

Graham
Purvis

Team Manager

Next game homepage

Thanks For Your Support This Season!

Next Home Game Is In 2013!  

The 2013 Draw Is Out Now - Click Here!

Match tickets can be purchased for all Highlanders home matches at Forsyth Barr Stadium ticket office or from any ticketdirect outletsor the Warehouse in Dunedin or online at www.ticketdirect.co.nz

Buy Match TicketsTicket Direct

Our Partners

Thanks To All Our Partners

See all our 2017 Partners listed below. We couldn't do it without them - or without you!

Principal Partner

pulseEnergylogo CMYK

Major Partner

Executive Partners

Associate Partners

"Take A Kid To The Highlanders" Partners

Team Partners

Official Partners

 

For further information about the Highlanders Partners Programme please contact:

mike kerrMike Kerr

Commercial Manager
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 021734507

Or

Amelia Kininmonth

General Manager - Commercial and Marketing
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 021 580 745

Our Partners (Backup)

Major Partners

Executive Partners

Associate Partners

Match-day Sponsors

Pre-Season

  • Highlanders v Brumbies
    Friday 31st January 6pm Kick-off
    Recreation Ground, Queenstown
    tbcTBC

Regular Season

  • Highlanders v Blues
    Saturday 22nd February, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    logo silver fern farmsSilver Fern Farms
  • HIGHLANDERS V FORCE
    Saturday 15th March, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    logo meridian mallMeridian mall
  • HIGHLANDERS V HURRICANES
    Friday 21st March, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    tbcTBC
  • Highlanders v Rebels
    Friday 4th April, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    logo oceana goldOceana Gold
  • HIGHLANDERS V BULLS
    Friday 11th April, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    tbcTBC
  • Highlanders v Lions
    Saturday 10th May, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    ODTOTAGO DAILY TIMES
  • Highlanders v Crusaders
    Saturday 24th May, 5.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    tbcTBC
  • Highlanders v Chiefs
    Friday 27th June, 7.35pm
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
    logo silver fern farmsSilver Fern Farms

"Take A Kid To The Highlanders" Partners

Zoo Partners

Team Partners

Official Suppliers

For further information about the Highlanders Partners Programme please contact:

Spontaneous Moments Photography Ltd019

Mike Kerr
Commercial Manager
Highlanders Trust
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 021734507

 
 
 

Staff List

Board of Directors

ChairmanDoug Harvie
Board MemberRaymond Burke
Board MemberMatthew Davey
Board MemberShane Drummond
Board MemberBruce Gemmell
Board MemberPeter Kean
Board MemberJohn Faulks

Coaching & Management

Head CoachTony Brown
Assistant CoachesScott McLeod & Mark Hammett
Scrum/Assistant Forward CoachClarke Dermody
HP Dev. CoachJon Preston
Team ManagerPaul McLaughlan

Highlanders Staff

Chief Executive OfficerRoger Clark
High Performance ManagerGreg O'Brien
General Manager of Commercial and MarketingAmelia Kininmonth
Commercial ManagerMike Kerr
Marketing ManagerAmanda Gould
Team DoctorDr Greg Macleod
PhysiotherapistAdam Letts
Strength & ConditioningAndrew Beardmore
Performance AnalystAndy Watts
Performance Analyst InternHayden Chapman
Sports NutritionistFiona Simpson
Mind Skills CoachNatalie Fraser
Personal Development ManagerMark Ranby
Baggage MasterNeville Ives

For all enquiries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring the office on +64 3 479 9280

Ground Entry

Forsyth Barr Stadium is a world class multi-purpose stadium with a purpose of ensuring our patrons have outstanding experiences at events. To achieve this, entry to the stadium is subject to the following conditions. Stadium hirers may impose additional conditions for individual events.

Patron & Bag Searches

  • All patrons and their possessions may be subject to searches before entering the stadium.
  • Searches may also be carried out during an event and when leaving the stadium.
  • Patrons who refuse to participate in searches may be denied entry to the stadium or asked to leave the venue.
  • All vehicles entering and leaving the stadium may be searched.
  • Prohibited items will be confiscated, these are listed but not confined to items listed under the heading “Patrons may not bring into the stadium”.

Food and Beverage Items Not Permitted:

  • Bottles of water with broken seals
  • All alcohol
  • All soft drinks
  • All commercial products- including crisps, takeaways, chocolates, lollies etc. Includes these being taken from packets and transferred into containers.

Food and Beverage Items Permitted:

  • Bottles of water with seals unbroken
  • Home made food- sandwiches, cakes, fruit
  • Special foods for dietary requirements
  • Baby food and liquids
  • Small tetra-pak fruit juices

Dress Code

All patrons entering the stadium must be appropriately dressed. For your own safety and the enjoyment of everyone, please comply with the following:

General and Open Club Reserves

  • Clothing must conform to reasonable standards of decency.
  • No bare feet are permitted.
  • No clothing or signs displaying offensive messages.
  • No Gang Patches.
  • No high visibility type vests or jackets that may be confused with security staff.

Corporate Areas – Club lounges and Hospitality suites

  • Clothing must conform to reasonable standards of decency, for example no T-shirts, cut off jeans, shorts, sandals or jandals.
  • No bare feet are permitted.
  • No clothing or signs displaying offensive messages.
  • No gang patches.
  • No high visibility type vests or jackets that may be confused with security staff.

Costume Guidelines

Some events at the stadium may encourage you to dress up. Please comply with the following guidelines when designing your costumes:

  • Costumes must conform to reasonable standards of decency.
  • Your costume should not be so large that you take up more space than your allocated seat or impact the view of others.
  • Accessories that look like or can be used as weapons are not permitted.

The above dress code guidelines apply at all events. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in you being prevented from entering the stadium. The decision of Stadium Management is final.

Playing Surface

Patrons are not allowed on the playing area before, during or after sports events. Breach of this rule will result in eviction and issue of trespass notice.

For certain events, access to the playing field may be permitted to patrons holding valid tickets. Patrons must follow the directions of stadium staff.

Patrons may be refused entry to the stadium if they:

  • Appear intoxicated/under the influence of drugs or exhibit disorderly behaviour.
  • Fail to comply with security or gate staff requests, including observing any queues.
  • Attempt to bring in prohibited items.
  • Have been previously issued with a trespass notice that still applies.
  • Are not authorised to be in the stadium, for example have no valid entry tickets or accreditation pass.

Patrons may be asked to leave the Stadium if they:

  • Use obscene language.
  • Are verbally or physically abusive, or behave in a disorderly or offensive manner.
  • Are intoxicated.
  • Are carrying out unauthorised activities within the stadium.
  • Throw items in the air or onto the pitch (including during Mexican waves).
  • Fail to comply with those regulations.
  • Obstruct gangways access ways, exits, or entrances or stair ways.

Patrons may not bring into the Stadium:

  • Alcohol.
  • Beverages other than water in sealed clear plastic water bottles up to 1 litre in size.
  • Thermos flasks.
  • Glass bottles or cans.
  • Hot food.
  • Commercially produced takeaway food such as McDonalds, KFC, Subway, pizza etc.
  • Chilly bins, picnic baskets or large bags.
  • Illicit Drugs.
  • Sound amplifiers including loudhailers and air horns.
  • Musical instruments.
  • Recording devices for commercial purposes.
  • Prams, strollers, pushchairs (Limited storage facilities for these items are available, however the stadium takes no responsibility for loss or theft).
  • Dogs or other pets (guide dogs are permitted).
  • Flares, fireworks, laser pointers, smoke bombs.
  • Compressed gas containers and aerosols.
  • Knives or other dangerous weapons.
  • Skateboards, roller blades, scooters or bicycles.
  • Chairs, stools or furniture of any kind.
  • Signs or banners that are obscene, offensive or abusive.
  • Flag poles of more than one metre in length.
  • Any item that may compromise or otherwise interfere with the enjoyment, comfort or safety of any person or security at the venue.
  • Any other item that Stadium Management determines may cause injury or public nuisance or inconvenience to any other person.

Smoking

Smoking is not allowed anywhere within the stadium.

General

For the safety and security of patrons, surveillance cameras are in use throughout the stadium.

  • Patrons must not sit or stand in aisles, or block entry doors or emergency exits.
  • Some sporting and other activities are dangerous. Patrons viewing such activities do so at their own risk.
  • There are no pass outs. At some events, exit turnstiles may operate allowing re-entry with a valid ticket.
  • Radios, CDs, TVs may be used only with earphones.
  • Patrons are requested to turn off cell phones during play or performances in the seating bowl.
  • Cameras, videos, tape recorders and other recording devices may be prohibited for certain events.
  • Patrons bring personal items into the stadium at their own risk. The venue will not be held responsible for any damages to, loss or theft of a patron’s personal property.
  • Advertising promotions and product giveaways etc are not permitted on the stadium property, unless expressly authorised by Stadium Management in writing. Any unauthorised product giveaways will be confiscated.
  • No alcohol is to be removed from the stadium.
  • Children under the age of 14 must be supervised by an accompanying adult.
  • Entry and right to remain within the stadium is at the absolute discretion of Stadium Management.

Who We Play

Click on any of the team links below to find out more about the other Clubs competing in Super Rugby. Each team profile contains information on how the Highlanders fared against each team and also a full breakdown of their playing history.

New Zealand

Australia

South Africa

Argentina

Japan

We Play The Blues

The Blues represent the three provincial unions in the top portion of New Zealand’s North Island: the Auckland, North Harbour and Northland unions. The South Auckland-based Counties Manukau was an original franchise member union in 1996 and 1997 and Thames Valley joined in 1998 for one season, before these two provincial unions were switched to the Chiefs, to be replaced by Northland and North Harbour.

Head to Head Record:

Blues 15 Wins
Highlanders 9 Wins

Results:

1996: Blues v Highlanders, 51-29
1997: Highlanders v Blues, 28-45
1998: Blues v Highlanders, 41-22
1998: Blues v Highlanders, 37-31 (semi-final)
1999: Highlanders v Blues, 19-13
2000: Blues v Highlanders, 26-16
2001: Highlanders v Blues, 23-8
2002: Blues v Highlanders, 13-20
2003: Highlanders v Blues, 22-11
2004: Blues v Highlanders, 50-22
2005: Highlanders v Blues, 14-30
2006: Highlanders v Blues, 25-13
2007: Blues v Highlanders, 28-9
2008: Highlanders v Blues, 15-40
2009: Blues v Highlanders 26-6
2010: Highlanders v Blues 15-19
2011: Highlanders v Blues, 10-15 & Blues v Highlanders, 33- 15
2012: Highlanders v Blues, 30-27 & Blues v Highlanders, 20-27
2013:Blues v Highlanders, 29-18 & Highlanders v Blues, 38-28
2014: Highlanders v Blues, 29-21 & Blues v Highlanders, 31-12
2015: Highlanders v Blues, 30-24 & Blues v Highlanders, 7-44


2016: Blues v Highlanders, 33-31

Honours Board:

Champions 1996, 1997, 2003
Finalists 1998
Semi-finalists 2007, 2011

Log Placings:

1996: 2nd
1997: 1st
1998: 1st
1999: 9th
2000: 6th
2001: 11th
2002: 6th
2003: 1st
2004: 5th
2005: 7th
2006: 8th
2007: 4th
2008: 6th
2009: 9th
2010: 7th
2011: 4th
2012: 12th
2013: 10th
2014: 10th
2015: 14th

Coaches:

1996: Graham Henry (convenor) & Mac McCallion
1997: Graham Henry (convenor) & Mac McCallion
1998: Graham Henry (convenor) & Mac McCallion
1999: Jed Rowlands (convenor) & Mac McCallion
2000: Gordon Hunter (convenor) & Frank Oliver
2001: Frank Oliver (convenor) & John Kirwan
2002: Peter Sloane (convenor) & Grant Fox
2003: Peter Sloane (convenor) & Bruce Robertson
2004: Peter Sloane (convenor) & Bruce Robertson
2005: Peter Sloane (convenor) & Josef Schmidt
2006: David Nucifora (convenor) & Josef Schmidt
2007: David Nucifora (convenor) & Josef Schmidt
2008: David Nucifora (convenor) & Greg Cooper
2009: Pat Lam (convenor), Shane Howarth & Mike Casey
2010: Pat Lam (convenor), Shane Howarth & Liam Barry
2011: Pat Lam, Bryce Woodward & Liam Barry
2012: Pat Lam, Bryce Woodward
2013: Sir John Kirwan, Mick Bryne, Grant Dooney & Sir Graham Henry
2014: Sir John Kirwan, Mick Bryne, Grant Dooney & Sir Graham Henry
2015: Sir John Kirwan
2016: Tana Umaga

Captains:

1996: Zinzan Brooke
1997: Zinzan Brooke
1998: Michael Jones
1999: Robin Brooke
2000: Robin Brooke
2001: Robin Brooke
2002: Glenn Taylor
2003: Xavier Rush
2004: Xavier Rush
2005: Xavier Rush
2006: Keven Mealamu
2007: Troy Flavell
2008: Troy Flavell
2009: Keven Mealamu
2010: Keven Mealamu
2011: Keven Mealamu
2012: Keven Mealamu
2013: Ali Williams
2014: Luke Braid
2015: Jerome Kaino
2016: Jerome Kaino

We Play The Brumbies

The representatives of the Australian capital, the Brumbies, were formed as a franchise for the first Super 12 in 1996, being created under the auspices of the then Australian Capital Territory Rugby Union. Despite damning predictions to the contrary from various rugby men in New Zealand and South Africa, Australia’s ‘third’ team proved everything but the tournament ‘bunnies’ they were expected to be. 

http://www.brumbies.com.au/

Head to Head Record:

Brumbies 12 Wins
Highlanders 8 Wins

Results:

1996: Brumbies v Highlanders, 70-26
1997: Highlanders v Brumbies, 9-15
1998: Brumbies v Highlanders, 34-26
1999: Highlanders v Brumbies, 9-8
2000: Brumbies v Highlanders, 34-15
2001: Highlanders v Brumbies, 16-9
2002: Brumbies v Highlanders, 18-25
2003: Highlanders v Brumbies, 45-19
2004: Brumbies v Highlanders, 50-18
2005: Highlanders v Brumbies, 19-18
2006: Brumbies v Highlanders, 26-28
2007: Highlanders v Brumbies, 10-29
2008: Brumbies v Highlanders, 22-20
2009: Highlanders v Brumbies, 31-33
2010: Brumbies v Highlanders 31-3
2011: Brumbies v Highlanders, 20-26
2012: Brumbies v Highlanders, 33-26
2013: Highlanders v Brumbies, 19-30
2015: Brumbies v Highlanders, 31-18
2016: Highlanders v Brumbies, 23-10 & Brumbies v Highlanders, 9-15 (quarterfinal) 

Honours Board:

Champions 2001, 2004
Finalists 1997, 2000, 2002, 2013
Semi-Finalists 2003, 2014, 2015
Quarter-Finalists 2016

Log Placings:

1996: 5th
1997: 2nd
1998: 10th
1999: 5th
2000: 1st
2001: 1st
2002: 3rd
2003: 4th
2004: 1st
2005: 5th
2006: 6th
2007: 5th
2008: 9th
2009: 7th
2010: 6th
2011: 13th
2012: 7th
2013: 3rd
2014: 4th
2015: 6th
2016: 

Coaches:

1996: Rod Macqueen (convenor), Geoff Stokes, Geoff Jones & Kim Thurbon.
1997: Rod Macqueen (convenor) & Chris Hickey
1998: Eddie Jones (convenor) & Jake Howard
1999: Eddie Jones (convenor) & Ewen McKenzie
2000: Eddie Jones (convenor) & Ewen McKenzie
2001: Eddie Jones (convenor), Andrew Blades & Glen Ella
2002: David Nucifora (convenor) & Brian Smith
2003: David Nucifora (convenor) & Anthony Eddy
2004: David Nucifora (convenor), Anthony Eddy & Laurie Fisher
2005: Laurie Fisher (convenor), Nick Scrivener & Matt O’Connor
2006: Laurie Fisher (convenor), Nick Scrivener & Ross Reynolds
2007: Laurie Fisher (convenor), Nick Scrivener & Ross Reynolds
2008: Laurie Fisher (convenor), Nick Scrivener & Ross Reynolds
2009: Andy Friend (convenor) & Tony Rea
2010: Andy Friend (convenor) Tony Rea & Owen Finegan
2011: Tony Rea
2012: Jake White
2013: Jake White
2014: Stephen Larkham & Laurie Fisher
2015: Stephen Larkham
2016: Stephen Larkham

Captains:

1996: Brett Robinson
1997: Brett Robinson
1998: Brett Robinson
1999: Brett Robinson
2000: Brett Robinson
2001: George Gregan
2002: George Gregan
2003: George Gregan
2004: Stirling Mortlock
2005: Stirling Mortlock
2006: Stirling Mortlock
2007: Stirling Mortlock
2008: Stirling Mortlock
2009: Stephen Hoiles
2010: Stephen Hoiles
2011: Stephen Hoiles
2012: Ben Mowen
2013: Ben Mowen
2014: Ben Mowen
2015: David Pocock
2016: David Pocock

 

We Play The Bulls

The representatives of the powerful Blue Bulls (formerly Northern Transvaal) provincial rugby union, based around the high veldt city of Pretoria. The Blue Bulls have been the powerhouse of the South African provincial scene in years past, winning or playing in six of the Currie Cup finals since 2003, which includes a shared title with the Free State Cheetahs in 2006.

http://thebulls.co.za/

Head to Head Record:

Highlanders 12 Wins
Bulls 6 Wins
Draw 1

Results:

1996: Northern Transvaal v Highlanders, 59-29
1997: Highlanders v Northern Transvaal, 27-7
1998: Bulls v Highlanders, 26-31
1999: Highlanders v Bulls, 65-23
2000: Bulls v Highlanders, 40-42
2001: Highlanders v Bulls, 32-10
2002: Bulls v Highlanders, 17-54
2003: Highlanders v Bulls, 29-22
2004: Bulls v Highlanders, 16-16
2005: Highlanders v Bulls, 23-0
2006: Bulls v Highlanders, 23-16
2007: Highlanders v Bulls, 13-22
2008: Bulls v Highlanders, 47-17
2009: Highlanders v Bulls, 36-12
2010: Bulls v Highlanders 50-35
2011: Bulls v Highlanders, 28-35
2012: Highlanders v Bulls, 16-11
2013: Bulls v Highlanders, 35-18
2014: Highlanders v Bulls, 27-20

Honours Board:

Champions 2007, 2009, 2010
Semi-Finalists 1996, 2005, 2006, 2013

Log Placings:

1996: 3rd
1997: 8th
1998: 11th
1999: 12th
2000: 11th
2001: 12th
2002: 12th
2003: 6th
2004: 6th
2005: 3rd
2006: 4th
2007: 2nd
2008: 10th
2009: 1st
2010: 1st
2011: 7th
2012: 5th
2013: 2nd
2014: 9th
2015: 9th
2016: 9th

Coaches:

1996: Dr John Williams (convenor) & Eugene van Wyk
1997: Kitch Christie (convenor) & Uli Schmidt
1998: Eugene van Wyk (convenor) & James Stofberg
1999: Eugene van Wyk (convenor) & Chris Buidendach
2000: Heyneke Meyer (convenor), Frans Ludeke & Herman Masimla
2001: Phil Pretorius (convenor), Chris Grobler & Pieter de Villiers
2002: Heyneke Meyer (convenor), Chris Grobler, Mike Bayly, Alfred
Mzizi & John McFarland
2003: Rudi Joubert convenor) & John Williams
2004: Rudi Joubert (convenor), Blikkies Groenewald & John Williams
2005: Heyneke Meyer (convenor) & Mike Bayly.
2006: Heyneke Meyer (convenor), Mike Bayly & Pote Human
2007: Heyneke Meyer (convenor), Todd Louden, Ricardo Loubscher & Pote Human
2008: Frans Ludeke 
2009: Frans Ludeke
2010: Frans Ludeke 
2011: Frans Ludeke
2012: Frans Ludeke 
2013: Frans Ludeke
2014: Frans Ludeke
2015: Frans Ludeke
2016: Nolliss Marais

Captains:

1996: Ruben Kruger
1997: Ruben Kruger
1998: Adriaan Richter
1999: Schutte Bekker
2000: Ruben Kruger
2001: Joost van der Westhuizen
2002: Chris le Roux
2003: Joost van der Westhuizen
2004: Victor Matfield
2005: Anton Leonard
2006: Victor Matfield
2007: Victor Matfield
2008: Fourie du Preez
2009: Victor Matfield
2010: Victor Matfield
2011: Victor Matfield
2012: Pierre Spies
2013: Pierre Spies
2014: Flip van der Merwe & Victor Matfield
2015: Victor Matfield
2016: Adriaan Strauss 

 

We Play The Jaguares

The Jaguares is a professional rugby union team based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They were founded in 2015 and are the first Argentine team to play in SANZAAR's Super Rugby competition, participating from the 2016 Super Rugby season onwards. 

We travelled to Argentina and played the Jaguares for the first time ever in front of a boisterious home crowd, walking away with a great win. 

http://www.jaguares.com.ar/

Head to Head Record:

Jaguares 0 Wins
Highlanders 1 Win

Results:

2016: Jaguares v Highlanders, 8 - 34

Coaches:

2016: Raul Perez

Captains:

2016: Agustin Creevy

 

We Play The Cheetahs

South Africa’s newest franchise, the Central Cheetahs represent the predominantly rural high veldt provincial unions of the Free State Cheetahs, Griquas and the Northern Free State Griffons. Free State participated as a stand alone entity in the 1997 Super 12, and from a year later was a junior partner in the Cats franchise.

http://www.fscheetahs.co.za/

Head to Head Record:

Highlanders 8 Wins
Cheetahs 2 Win

Results:

1997: Highlanders v Free State, 0-5
2006: Cheetahs v Highlanders, 12-17
2007: Highlanders v Cheetahs, 21-17
2008: Cheetahs v Highlanders, 28-31
2009: Highlanders v Cheetahs, 32-8
2010: Cheetahs v Highlanders 24-31
2011: Highlanders v Cheetahs 24-21
2012: Cheetahs v Highlanders, 33-36
2013: Highlanders v Cheetahs, 19-36
2015: Cheetahs v Highlanders, 24-45

Log Placings:

1997: 7th
2006: 10th
2007: 11th
2008: 13th
2009: 14th
2010: 10th
2011: 11th
2012: 10th
2013: 6th
2014: 14th
2015: 12th
2016: 14th

Coaches:

2006: Rassie Erasmus (convenor) , Helgard Muller & Franco Smith
2007: Rassie Erasmus (convenor), Helgard Muller & Franco Smith
2008: Naka Drotske (convenor) & Helgard Muller
2009: Naka Drotske (convenor), Hawies Fourie & Barend Pieterse
2010: Naka Drotske (convenor), Hawies Fourie & Barend Pieterse
2011: Naka Drotske
2012: Naka Drotske
2013: Naka Drotske
2014: Naka Drotske
2015: Naka Drotske
2016: Franco Smith

Captains:

1997: Helgard Muller
2006: Juan Smith
2007: Juan Smith
2008: Juan Smith
2009: Juan Smith
2010: Juan Smith
2011: Juan Smith
2012: Adriaan Strauss
2013: Adriaan Strauss
2014: Adriaan Strauss
2015: Francois Ulys
2016: Francois Venter

We Play The Chiefs

The Chiefs represent the five provincial unions that occupy the upper middle portion of the North Island – these being the South Auckland-based Counties Manukau, Thames Valley, Bay of Plenty, King Country and the franchise’s host provincial union, Waikato. The franchise’s catchment area stretches from the Southern motorway in Auckland city down to the waters edge of Lake Taupo in the central North Island. Counties Manukau and Thames Valley were previously affiliated to the Blues. The current franchise makeup was established in 1999. The Northland and North Harbour provincial unions contributed to the first three years of the Chiefs prior to being realigned with the Blues.

www.chiefs.co.nz 

Head to Head Record:

Chiefs 15 Wins
Highlanders 10 Wins

Results:

1996: Highlanders v Chiefs, 5-22
1997: Chiefs v Highlanders, 18-34
1998: Highlanders v Chiefs, 29-11
1999: Chiefs v Highlanders, 16-27
2000: Highlanders v Chiefs, 38-6
2001: Chiefs v Highlanders, 50-19
2002: Highlanders v Chiefs, 24-29
2003: Chiefs v Highlanders, 16-29
2004: Highlanders v Chiefs, 31-36
2005: Chiefs v Highlanders, 31-8
2006: Chiefs v Highlanders, 16-13
2007: Highlanders v Chiefs, 34-38
2008: Chiefs v Highlanders, 39-24
2009: Highlanders v Chiefs, 10-14
2010: Chiefs v Highlanders 27-21
2011: Highlanders v Chiefs 23-13 & Chiefs v Highlanders 20-7
2012: Chiefs v Highlanders, 19-23 & Highlanders v Chiefs, 21-27
2013: Highlanders v Chiefs, 27-41 & Chiefs v Highlanders, 19-7
2014: Chiefs v Highlanders, 21-19 & Highlanders v Chiefs, 29-25
2015: Chiefs v Highlanders, 17-20 & Highlanders v Chiefs, 36-9 & Highlanders v Chiefs, 24-14
2016: Chiefs v Highlanders, 13-26 & Highlanders v Chiefs, 25-15

Honours Board:

Champions 2012 & 2013
Finalists 2009
Semi-Finalists 2004

Quarter-Finalists 2015, 2016

Log Placings:

1996: 6th
1997: 11th
1998: 7th
1999: 6th
2000: 10th
2001: 6th
2002: 8th
2003: 10th
2004: 3rd
2005: 6th
2006: 7th
2007: 6th
2008: 7th
2009: 2nd
2010: 11th
2011: 10th
2012: 1st
2013: 1st
2014: 5th
2015: 5th5th
2016:

Coaches:

1996: Brad Meurant (convenor) & Sid Going
1997: Brad Meurant (convenor) & John Boe
1998: Ross Cooper (convenor) & Matt Te Pou
1999: Ross Cooper (convenor) & Matt Te Pou
2000: Ross Cooper (convenor) & Kevin Greene
2001: John Mitchell (convenor) & Kevin Greene
2002: Kevin Greene (convenor) & Dennis Brown
2003: Kevin Greene (convenor) & Dennis Brown
2004: Ian Foster (convenor) & Farrell Temata
2005: Ian Foster (convenor) & Farrell Temata
2006: Ian Foster (convenor) & Farrell Temata
2007: Ian Foster (convenor) & Warren Gatland
2008: Ian Foster (convenor) & Tony Hanks
2009: Ian Foster (convenor) & Craig Stevenson
2010: Ian Foster (convenor) & Craig Stevenson
2011: Ian Foster (convenor) & Craig Stevenson
2012: Dave Rennie, Tom Coventry & Wayne Smith
2013: Dave Rennie, Tom Coventry & Wayne Smith
2014: Dave Rennie, Tom Coventry, Wayne Smith & Andrew Strawbridge
2015: Dave Rennie
2016: Dave Rennie

Captains:

1996: Richard Turner
1997: Ian Jones
1998: Errol Brain
1999: Michael Collins
2000: Glenn Taylor
2001: Deon Muir
2002: Deon Muir
2003: Jono Gibbes
2004: Jono Gibbes
2005: Jono Gibbes
2006: Jono Gibbes
2007: Jono Gibbes
2008: Mils Muliaina
2009: Mils Muliaina
2010: Mils Muliaina
2011: Mils Muliaina
2012: Craig Clarke
2013: Craig Clarke
2014: Liam Messam, Aaron Cruden & Brodie Retallick
2015: Aaron Cruden
2016: Sam Cane

We Play The Crusaders

The most successful franchise in Super Rugby history, the Crusaders encompasses the six provincial unions located at the top half of New Zealand’s South Island.  The six unions consist of Tasman, Canterbury, Mid-Canterbury South Canterbury, Buller and West Coast.  The Crusaders draw on these provinces ensure their success continues as the franchise who has won more titles than any other in the competition.

www.crusaders.co.nz 

Head to Head Record:

Crusaders 18 Wins
Highlanders 11 Wins

Results:

1996: Crusaders 27, Highlanders 29
1997: Highlanders 37, Crusaders 29
1998: Crusaders 40, Highlanders 24
1999: Highlanders 23, Crusaders 6
1999: Crusaders 24, Highlanders 19 (Final)
2000: Crusaders 42, Highlanders 36
2000: Crusaders 37, Highlanders 15 (Semi-Final)
2001: Highlanders 26, Crusaders 21
2002: Crusaders 30, Highlanders 28
2002: Crusaders 34, Highlanders 23 (Semi-Final)
2003: Highlanders 16, Crusaders 17
2004: Crusaders 46, Highlanders 29
2005: Highlanders 13, Crusaders 27
2006: Crusaders 38, Highlanders 15
2007: Highlanders 3, Crusaders 38
2008: Crusaders 14, Highlanders 26
2009: Highlanders 6, Crusaders 0
2010: Crusaders v Highlanders 32-17
2011: Highlanders v Crusaders 13-43, & Crusaders v Highlanders 18-26
2012: Highlanders v Crusaders, 27-24 & Crusaders v Highlanders, 51-18
2013: Highlanders v Crusaders, 38-21 & Crusaders v Highlanders, 24-8
2014: Highlanders v Crusaders, 30-32 & Crusaders v Highlanders, 34-8
2015: Highlanders v Crusaders, 20-26 & Crusaders v Highlanders, 20-25
2016: Highlanders v Crusaders, 34-26

Honours Board:

Champions 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008
Finalist: 2011, 2014
Semi-Finalists 2003, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2013

Log Placings:

1996: 12th
1997: 6th
1998: 1st
1999: 1st
2000: 1st
2001: 10th
2002: 1st
2003: 2nd
2004: 2nd
2005: 1st
2006: 1st
2007: 2nd
2008: 1st
2009: 4th
2010: 4th
2011: 2nd
2012: 4th
2013: 4th
2014: 2nd
2015: 7th

Coaches:

1996: Vance Stewart
1997: Wayne Smith, Robbie Deans (Manager)
1998: Wayne Smith, Robbie Deans
1999: Robbie Deans, Steve Hansen
2000: Robbie Deans
2001: Robbie Deans
2002: Robbie Deans
2003: Robbie Deans
2004: Robbie Deans
2005: Robbie Deans
2006: Robbie Deans
2007: Robbie Deans
2008: Robbie Deans
2009: Todd Blackadder
2010: Todd Blackadder (convenor), Mark Hammett & Daryl Gibson
2011: Todd Blackadder, Daryl Gibson & Dave Hewett
2012: Todd Blackadder & Dave Hewett
2013: Todd Blackadder, Dave Hewett, Aaron Mauger & Tabai Matson
2014: Todd Blackadder, Dave Hewett, Aaron Mauger & Tabai Matson
2015: Todd Blackadder
2016: Todd Blackadder

Captains:

1996: Richard Loe
1997: Todd Blackadder
1998: Todd Blackadder
1999: Todd Blackadder
2000: Todd Blackadder
2001: Todd Blackadder
2002: Reuben Thorne
2003: Reuben Thorne
2004: Reuben Thorne
2005: Richie McCaw
2006: Richie McCaw
2007: Richie McCaw
2008: Richie McCaw
2009: Richie McCaw
2010: Richie McCaw
2011: Kieran Read
2012: Kieran Read
2013: Kieran Read
2014: Kieran Read
2015: Kieran Read
2016: Kieran Read

We Play The Force

Australia’s long-awaited fourth representative, the Western Force franchise was created under the auspices of the Perth-based Western Australian Rugby Union. The Super 14 license was awarded to the west by the Australian Rugby Union following a hotly contested bidding process with the Melbourne-based Victorian Rugby Union. 

http://www.westernforce.com.au/

Head to Head Record:

Western Force 6 Wins
Highlanders 4 Wins

Results:

2006: Highlanders v Western Force, 25-22
2007: Western Force v Highlanders, 7-8
2008: Highlanders v Western Force, 28-36
2009: Western Force v Highlanders, 33-28
2010: Highlanders v Western Force 27-41
2011: Highlanders v Force, 14-21
2013: Force v Highlanders, 19-18
2014: Highlanders v Force, 26-31
2015: Force v Highlanders, 3-23
2016: Highlanders v Force, 32-20

Log Placings:

2006: 14th
2007: 7th
2008: 8th
2009: 8th
2010: 13th
2011: 12th
2012: 14th
2013: 13th
2014: 8th
2015: 15th
2016:

 

Coaching Staff:

2006: John Mitchell (convenor), John Mulvehill, Ben Darwin & Tom Fearn
2007: John Mitchell (convenor), John Mulvehill & Tom Fearn
2008: John Mitchell (convenor), John Mulvehill & Tom Fearn
2009: John Mitchell (convenor), John Mulvehill & Tom Fearn
2010: John Mitchell (convenor), Richard Graham & Geoff Townsend
2011: Richard Graham
2012: Richard Graham
2013: Michael Foley, Steve Meehan, Phillip Fowler & Nick Stiles
2014: Michael Foley, David Wessels & Kevin Foote
2015: Michael Foley, David Wessels & Kevin Foote
2016: Michael Foley, David Wessels & Kevin Foote

Captain:

2006: Nathan Sharpe
2007: Nathan Sharpe
2008: Nathan Sharpe
2009: Nathan Sharpe
2010: Nathan Sharpe
2011: Nathan Sharpe
2012: David Pocock
2013: Matt Hodgson
2014: Matt Hodgson
2015: Matt Hodgson
2016: Matt Hodgson

We Play The Hurricanes

Representing the central regions of New Zealand, the Hurricanes’ catchment area stretches from the Cook Strait beaches to the tip of the Eastern Cape on the eastern coastal flank of the North Island. New Zealand’s most populous franchise, in terms of contributing member unions, the Hurricanes fly the flag for nine provincial unions based in the lower and central North Island: Wellington, Wairarapa-Bush, Horowhenua-Kapiti, Manawatu, Wanganui, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Poverty Bay and East Coast.

www.hurricanes.co.nz 

Head to Head Record:

Hurricanes 15 Wins
Highlanders 13 Wins

Results:

1996: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 15-44
1997: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 60-34
1998: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 29-8
1999: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 21-19
2000: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 35-19
2001: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 35-33
2002: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 19-10
2003: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 37-15
2004: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 26-14
2005: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 16-26
2006: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 13-29
2007: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 22-21
2008: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 6-10
2009: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 22-17
2010: Highlanders v Hurricanes 31-33
2011: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 9-14 & Highlanders v Hurricanes, 6-13
2012: Hurricanes v Highlanders, 17-19 & Highlanders v Hurricanes, 20-26
2013: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 19-23 & Hurricanes v Highlanders, 44-49
2014: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 35-31 & Hurricanes v Highlanders, 16-1
2015: Highlanders v Hurricanes 13-20,  Hurricanes v Highlanders 56-20, Hurricanes v Highlanders (final), 14-21
2016: Highlanders v Hurricanes, 17-16 & Hurricanes v Highlanders, 27-20

Honours Board:

Finalists 2006, 2015, 2016
Semi-Finalists 1997, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009

Log Placings:

Log Placings:
1996: 9th
1997: 3rd
1998: 8th
1999: 10th
2000: 8th
2001: 9th
2002: 9th
2003: 3rd
2004: 11th
2005: 4th
2006: 2nd
2007: 8th
2008: 4th
2009: 3rd
2010: 8th
2011: 9th
2012: 8th
2013: 11th
2014: 7th
2015: 2nd
2016: 1st

Coaches:

1996: Frank Oliver (convenor) & Graeme Taylor
1997: Frank Oliver (convenor) & Graeme Taylor
1998: Frank Oliver (convenor) & Graeme Taylor
1999: Frank Oliver (convenor) & Graeme Taylor
2000: Graham Mourie (convenor) & Bryan Williams
2001: Graham Mourie (convenor) & Bryan Williams
2002: Graham Mourie (convenor) & Dave Rennie
2003: Colin Cooper (convenor) & Murray Roulston
2004: Colin Cooper (convenor) & Murray Roulston
2005: Colin Cooper (convenor) & Murray Roulston
2006: Colin Cooper (convenor), Murray Roulston & Bryan (Aussie)McLean
2007: Colin Cooper (convenor), Murray Roulston & Bryan (Aussie) McLean
2008: Colin Cooper (convenor) & Bryan (Aussie) McLean
2009: Colin Cooper (convenor) & Jono Phillips
2010: Colin Cooper (convenor) & Jonothan Phillips
2011: Mark Hammett
2012: Mark Hammett
2013: Mark Hammett
2014: Mark Hammett
2015: Chris Boyd
2016: Chris Boyd

Captains:

1996: Mark Allen
1997: Mark Allen
1998: Mark Allen
1999: Jason O’Halloran
2000: Norm Hewitt
2001: Gordon Slater
2002: Gordon Slater
2003: Tana Umaga
2004: Tana Umaga
2005: Tana Umaga
2006: Rodney So’oialo
2007: Tana Umaga
2008: Rodney So'oialo
2009: Rodney So'oialo
2010: Rodney So'oialo
2011: Andrew Hore
2012: Conrad Smith
2013: Conrad Smith
2014: Conrad Smith
2015: Conrad Smith
2016: Dane Coles

We Play The Lions

The Lions are the international brand of the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions provincial union, which was formerly known as Transvaal. The Lions name is the fifth that the Ellis Park-based team has carried into battle in the 12 years of Super rugby, having previously been known as Transvaal, the Gauteng Lions, the Golden Cats and then the Cats. As well as representing the Golden Lions provincial union, the Lions side can also draw on minor South African provincial unions the North West Leopards and the Mpumalanga Pumas. Both are also part of the regions’ Super rugby catchment.

The Lions were replaced by the Southern Kings in the 2013 Super Rugby Season but regained their position the following year after beating the Southern Kings in a two-game play-off series. 

http://www.lionsrugby.co.za/

Head to Head Record:

Highlanders 13 Wins
Lions 7 Wins

Results:

1996: Highlanders v Transvaal, 29-15
1997: Gauteng Lions v Highlanders, 47-29
1998: Highlanders v Lions, 57-27
1999: Lions v Highlanders, 28-29
2000: Highlanders v Lions, 33-31
2001: Lions v Highlanders, 56-21
2002: Highlanders v Lions, 40-8
2003: Lions v Highlanders, 33-21
2004: Highlanders v Lions, 29-17
2005: Lions v Highlanders, 12-16
2006: Highlanders v Lions, 16-14
2007: Lions v Highlanders, 11-6
2008: Highlanders v Lions, 29-20
2009: Lions v Highlanders, 27-22
2010: Highlanders v Lions 39-29
2011: Highlanders v Lions 22-26
2014: Highlanders v Lions 23-22
2015: Lions v Highlanders, 28-23
2016: Highlanders v Lions, 34-15 & Lions v Highlanders (semi-final) 42-30

Honours Board:

Semi-Finalists: 2000, 2001
Finalists: 2016

Log Placings:

1996: 10th (Transvaal)
1997: 5th (Gauteng Lions)
1998: 12th
1999: 11th
2000: 4th
2001: 3rd
2002: 11th
2003: 12th
2004: 12th
2005: 11th
2006: 13th
2007: 12th
2008: 14th
2009: 12th
2010: 14th
2011: 14th
2012: 15th
2014: 12th
2015: 8th
2016: 2nd

Coaches:

1996: Kitch Christie & Ray Mordt (replaced by Alex Wyllie when Christie became unwell)
1997: Ray Mordt (convenor) & Titi Lupini
1998: Piet Kleynhans (convenor) & Gysie Pienaar
1999: Andre Markgraaf (convenor) & Dick Muir
2000: Laurie Mains (convenor), Balie Swart & Eric Sauls
2001: Laurie Mains (convenor) & Gysie Pienaar
2002: Frans Ludeke (convenor) & Gysie Pienaar
2003: Tim Lane (convenor), Ray Mordt & Stanley Raubenheimer
2004: Tim Lane (convenor), Chester Williams & Willie Meyer
2005: Chester Williams (convenor) & Johan Erasmus
2006: Frans Ludeke (convenor) & Allister Coetzee
2007: Eugene Eloff (convenor) & Leon Boshoff
2008: Eugene Eloff (convenor) & Leon Boshoff
2009: Eugene Eloff (convenor) & Leon Boshoff
2010: Dick Muir (convenor) & Johan Ackermann
2011: John Mitchell
2012: John Mitchell
2014: Johan Ackerman & Swys de Bruin
2015: Johan Ackermann
2016: Johan Ackermann

Captains:

1996: Francois Pienaar
1997: Ian MacDonald
1998: Jannie Strydom
1999: Johan Erasmus
2000: Johan Erasmus
2001: Johan Erasmus
2002: Andre Vos
2003: Bob Skinstad
2004: Jannes Labuschagne
2005: Wickus van Heerden
2006: Wickus van Heerden
2007: Andre Pretorius
2008: Ernst Joubert
2009: Cobus Grobbelaar
2010: Cobus Grobbelaar
2011: Josh Strauss
2012: Josh Strauss
2014: Warren Whiteley
2015: Warren Whiteley
2016: Warren Whiteley

 

We Play The Kings

The Southern Kings have replaced the Lions as the fifth South African Super Rugby team in 2013. The team was formed in June 2009, in time to coincide with the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

The Kings' catchment area is made up of the Eastern Cape, and parts of the Western Cape. They will draw players from 3 provincial unions, namely the Eastern Province Kings, based in Port Elizabeth (representing the southern half of the Eastern Cape), the Border Bulldogs, based in East London (representing the northern half of the Eastern Cape) and the SWD Eagles, based in George (representing the South Western Districts).

Having lost the promotion/relegation play-off to the Lions, the Kings missed out on Super Rugby in 2014. They have also agreed to sit out the 2015 season by withdrawing from the proposed promotion/relegation match at the end of 2014. In exchange, the Eastern Province Kings were guaranteed participation in the 2014 and 2015 Currie Cup competitions, intended to aid the team's preparation for a return to Super Rugby in 2016.

http://www.easternprovincerugby.com/

Coaches:

2013: Matt Sexton
2016: Deon Davids

Captains:

2013: Luke Watson
2016: Steven Sykes

We Play The Rebels

The Rebels are Australia’s 5th Franchise Super Rugby team and are based in Melbourne, Victoria with their Home ground AAMI Park.  They were the first privately owned professional rugby union team in Australia. 

http://www.melbournerebels.com.au/

Head to Head Record:

Highlanders 5 Win
Rebels 1 Win

Results:

2011: Rebels v Highlanders 18-24
2012: Highlanders v Rebels, 43-12
2013: Rebels v Highlanders, 38-37
2014: Highlanders v Rebels, 33-30
2016: Rebels v Highlanders, 3-27

Log Placings:

2011: 15th
2012: 13th
2013: 12th
2014: 15th
2015: 10th
2016: 

Coaches:

2011: Rod McQueen
2012: Damien Hill
2013: Damien Hill
2014: Tony McGahan
2015: Tony McGahan
2016: Tony McGahan

Captain:

2011: Stirling Mortlock
2012: Stirling Mortlock
2013: Gareth Delve
2014: Scott Higginbotham
2016: Nic Stirzaker

We Play The Sunwolves

The Sunwoves are a professional rugby union team and is Japan's representative team in SANZAAR's international Super Rugby competition. They joined the competition in 2016 and are based in Toyko, Japan. The name 'Sunwolves' is a hybrid comprising the blazing icon of the 'Land of the Rising Sun' and a wolf which represents a pack hunting mentality and a dedicated team ethos of protecting one another. The striking logo depicts the breaking of a new dawn for Japanese rugby and a fearsome representation of the team's desired playing style as they seek to utilise speed, unity and a fearless spirit to face their challenges.

We look forward to playing this side in years to come and watching them grow as a team and country.  

 http://super-japanrugby.com/

Coaches:

2016: Mark Hammett

Captains:

2016: Shota Horie

We Play The Reds

The Reds are the professional arm of the Queensland Rugby Union based in the Sunshine State on the north coast of the eastern Australian seaboard.

http://www.redsrugby.com.au/

Head to Head Record:

Highlanders 11 Wins
Reds 9 Wins

Results:

1996: Highlanders v Reds, 57-17
1997: Highlanders v Reds, 24-37
1998: Highlanders v Reds, 26-19
1999: Reds v Highlanders, 19-20
2000: Highlanders v Reds, 50-13
2001: Reds v Highlanders, 33-22
2002: Highlanders v Reds, 40-26
2003: Reds v Highlanders, 28-23
2004: Highlanders v Reds, 39-8
2005: Reds v Highlanders, 16-23
2006: Reds v Highlanders, 22-16
2007: Highlanders v Reds, 33-17
2008: Reds v Highlanders, 22-16
2009: Highlanders v Reds, 24-19
2010: Reds v Highlanders 38-36
2012: Reds v Highlanders 19-13
2013: Highlanders v Reds, 34-33
2014: Reds v Highlanders 38-31
2015: Highlanders v Reds, 20-13
2016: Reds v Highlanders, 28-27

Honours Board:

Champions: 2011
Semi-Finalists 1996, 1999, 2001

Log Placings:

1996: 1st
1997: 10th
1998: 5th
1999: 1st
2000: 7th
2001: 4th
2002: 5th
2003: 8th
2004: 10th
2005: 10th
2006: 12th
2007: 14th
2008: 12th
2009: 13th
2010: 5th
2011: 1st
2012: 3rd
2013: 5th
2014: 13th
2015:13th
2016:

Coaches:

1996: John Connolly (convenor) & Andrew Slack
1997: John Connolly (convenor) & Andrew Slack
1998: John Connolly (convenor) & Andrew Slack
1999: John Connolly (convenor) & Grant Batty
2000: John Connolly (convenor) & Grant Batty
2001: Mark McBain (convenor) & Roger Gould
2002: Mark McBain (convenor) & Roger Gould
2003: Andrew Slack (convenor), Alec Evans & Adrian Thompson
2004: Jeff Miller (convenor), Adrian Thompson, Phil Mooney & John Muggleton
2005: Jeff Miller (convenor) & Anthony Eddy
2006: Jeff Miller (convenor), Alec Evans & Damon Emtage
2007: Eddie Jones, Damon Emtage & Alec Evans
2008: Phil Mooney (convenor), Mark Bell & Damon Emtage
2009: Phil Mooney (convenor), Mark Bell & Damon Emtage
2010: Ewen McKenzie (convenor) & Jim McKay
2011: Ewen McKenzie
2012: Ewen Mckenzie
2013: Richard Graham
2014: Richard Graham
2015: Richard Graham
2016: Richard Graham

Captains:

1996: Tim Horan
1997: Tim Horan
1998: David Wilson
1999: David Wilson
2000: John Eales
2001: John Eales
2002: Daniel Herbert
2003: Daniel Herbert
2004: Elton Flatley
2005: Elton Flatley
2006: John Roe
2007: John Roe
2008: John Roe
2009: James Horwill
2010: James Horwill
2011: Will Genia
2012: Will Genia
2013: Will Genia
2014: James Horwill
2015: James Horwill
2016: James Slipper

We Play The Sharks

Based at the home of the Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial rugby union, the Sharks are the international brand of the Natal Sharks Currie Cup outfit. The franchise used to also take in the East London-based Border Bulldogs provincial union as well as the Eastern Province Mighty Elephants, who operate out of Port Elizabeth, further down the country’s Eastern Cape. Port Elizabeth was to have been the base for the ill-fated South Eastern Cape Spears franchise.

http://www.sharksrugby.co.za/

Head to Head Record:

Sharks 12 Wins
Highlanders 8 Wins

Results:

1996: Highlanders v Natal, 33-32
1997: Natal v Highlanders, 75-43
1998: Highlanders v Sharks, 41-35
1999: Sharks v Highlanders, 32-8
2000: Highlanders v Sharks, 27-20
2001: Sharks v Highlanders, 30-29
2002: Highlanders v Sharks, 45-5
2003: Sharks v Highlanders, 19-23
2004: Highlanders v Sharks, 35-36
2005: Sharks v Highlanders, 7-43
2006: Highlanders v Sharks, 11-26
2007: Sharks v Highlanders, 23-16
2008: Highlanders v Sharks, 17-19
2009: Sharks v Highlanders, 23-15
2010: Highlanders v Sharks, 16-30
2012:Sharks v Highlanders, 28-16
2013: Highlanders v Sharks, 25-22
2014: Sharks v Highlanders, 18-34 & Sharks v Highlanders, 31-27 (play-off)
2015: Highlanders v Sharks, 48-15
2016: Highlanders v Sharks, 14-15

Honours Board:

Finalists 1996, 2001, 2007, 2012
Semi-Finalists 1997, 1998, 2008, 2014

Log Placings:

1996: 4th
1997: 4th
1998: 3rd
1999: 7th
2000: 12th
2001: 2nd
2002: 10th
2003: 11th
2004: 7th
2005: 12th
2006: 5th
2007: 1st
2008: 3rd
2009: 6th
2010: 9th
2011: 6th
2012: 2nd
2013: 8th
2014: 3rd
2015: 11th
2016: 

Coaches:

2002: Rudolf Straeuli (convenor) & Clinton Isaacs (replaced by Kevin Putt & Theo van Rensburg)
2003: Kevin Putt (convenor) & Clinton Isaacs
2004: Kevin Putt (convenor), Clinton Isaacs & Balie Swart
2005: Kevin Putt (convenor), Clinton Isaacs & Balie Swart
2006: Dick Muir (convenor), Theo Oosthuizen & Clinton Isaacs
2007: Dick Muir (convenor) & John Plumtree
2008: Dick Muir (convenor) & John Plumtree
2009: John Plumtree (convenor), Chris Boyd & Grant Bashford
2010: John Plumtree (Convenor), Chris Boyd & Grant Bashford
2011: John Plumtree
2012: John Plumtree
2013: John Plumtree
2014: Jake White, Paul Anthony & Sean Everitt
2015: Gary Gold
2016: Gary Gold 

Captains:

1996: Gary Teichmann
1997: Gary Teichmann
1998: Gary Teichmann
1999: Gary Teichmann
2000: Wayne Fyvie
2001: Mark Andrews
2002: Mark Andrews
2003: Shaun Sowerby
2004: John Smit
2005: John Smit
2006: John Smit
2007: John Smit
2008: AJ Venter
2009: Johann Muller
2010: Johann Muller
2011: John Smit
2012: Keegan Daniel & John Smit
2013: Keegan Daniel
2014: Bismark du Plessis
2015: Marco Wentzel
2016: Patrick Lambie

We Play The Stormers

The Stormers represent the traditionally powerful South African provincial union, Western Province, who are based at the foot of the picturesque Table Mountain in Cape Town. In recent seasons, the Stormers have reverted to a predominantly blue strip, which is more in keeping with the blue and white hoops traditionally worn by Western Province. The side previously appeared in a black outfit. As well as Western Province, the Stormers also represent the two other rural South African provincial unions who are based in the Western Cape region: the South Western Districts Eagles, and the Boland Kavaliers.

http://thestormers.com/

Head to Head Record:

Highlanders 10 Wins
Stormers 8 Wins
Draw 1

Results:

1996: Western Province v Highlanders, 25-52
1998: Stormers v Highlanders, 15-36
1999: Highlanders v Stormers, 46-14
1999: Stormers v Highlanders, 18-33 (Semi-Final)
2000: Stormers v Highlanders, 27-13
2001: Highlanders v Stormers, 24-23
2002: Stormers v Highlanders, 20-21
2003: Highlanders v Stormers, 41-17
2004: Stormers v Highlanders, 46-25
2005: Highlanders v Stormers, 16-16
2006: Stormers v Highlanders, 15-30
2007: Highlanders v Stormers, 35-24
2008: Stormers v Highlanders, 26-16
2009: Highlanders v Stormers, 11-18
2010: Stormers v Highlanders 33-0
2011: Stormers v Highlanders 18-6
2012: Highlanders v Stormers, 6-21
2014: Stormers v Highlanders 29-28
2015: Highlanders v Stormers, 39-21

Honours Board:

Final Series: 1999, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016

Log Placings:

(Note: for the 1997 season, the region that was to become the Stormers catchment was not represented in Super 12; the place instead going to the Free State Cheetahs by virtue of their top four finish in the 1996 Currie Cup.)

1996: 11th (Western Province)
1998: 9th
1999: 2nd
2000: 5th
2001: 7th
2002: 7th
2003: 9th
2004: 3rd
2005: 9th
2006: 11th
2007: 10th
2008: 5th
2009: 10th
2010: 2nd
2011: 3rd
2012: 3rd
2013: 7th
2014: 11th
2015: 3rd
2016: 3rd

Coaches:

1996: Alan Zondagh
1998: Harry Viljoen (convenor) & Alan Solomons
1999: Alan Solomons (convenor) & Heyneke Meyer
2000: Alan Solomons (convenor) & Adrian Kennedy
2001: Alan Solomons (convenor), Adrian Kennedy & Jerome Paarwater
2002: Gert Smal (convenor), Carel du Plessis & Jerome Paarwater
2003: Gert Smal (convenor), Carel du Plessis & Ravin du Plessis
2004: Gert Smal (convenor), Carel du Plessis & David Dobela
2005: Gert Smal (convenor), Carel du Plessis & Jerome Paarwater
2006: Kobus van der Merwe (convenor), Hawies Fourie & Jerome Paarwater
2007: Kobus van der Merwe (convenor) & Jerome Paarwater
2008: Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus (convenor) & Jerome Paarwater
2009: Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus (convenor), Allister Coetzee, Gary Gold & Brendan Venter
2010: Allister Coetzee (Convenor), Robbie Fleck & Matthew Proudfoot
2011: Allister Coetzee, Robbie Fleck & Matthew Proudfoot
2012: Allister Coetzee, Robbie Fleck & Matthew Proudfoot
2013: Allister Coetzee, Robbie Fleck & Matthew Proudfoot
2014: Allister Coetzee, Robbie Fleck & Matthew Proudfoot
2015: Allister Coetzee, Robbie Fleck & Matthew Proudfoot 
2016: Robbie Fleck & Russell Winter

Captains:

1996: Fritz van Heerden
1998: Dick Muir
1999: Bob Skinstad
2000: Corne Krige
2001: Corne Krige
2002: Corne Krige
2003: Corne Krige
2004: Corne Krige
2005: Neil de Kock
2006: De Wet Barry
2007: Luke Watson
2008: Jean De Villiers
2009: Jean De Villiers
2010: Schalk Burger
2011: Schalk Burger
2012: Schalk Burger
2013: Jean De Villiers
2014: Jean De Villiers
2015: Jean De Villiers
2016: Juan de Jongh and Frans Malherbe

We Play The Waratahs

The Waratahs represent the eastern Australian state of New South Wales, which is the most populated of the seven Australian states and national territories. They won the Super Rugby Championship for the first time in 2014.

http://www.waratahs.com.au/

Head to Head Record:

Waratahs 13 Wins
Highlanders 6 Wins

Results:

1996: Waratahs v Highlanders, 29-25
1997: Highlanders v Waratahs, 16-27
1998: Waratahs v Highlanders, 23-22
1999: Highlanders v Waratahs, 15-23
2000: Waratahs v Highlanders, 22-15
2001: Highlanders v Waratahs, 39-20
2002: Waratahs v Highlanders, 31-13
2003: Highlanders v Waratahs, 23-27
2004: Waratahs v Highlanders, 28-29
2005: Highlanders v Waratahs, 20-41
2006: Highlanders v Waratahs, 3-20
2007: Waratahs v Highlanders, 25-26
2008: Highlanders v Waratahs, 12-15
2009: Waratahs v Highlanders, 34-16
2010: Highlanders v Waratahs 26-10
2011: Waratahs v Highlanders 33-7
2012: Highlanders v Waratahs, 18-17
2014: Waratahs v Highlanders, 44-16
2015: Highlanders v Waratahs, 26-19


2016: Waratahs v Highlanders, 26-30

Honours Board:

Champions 2014
Finalists 2005, 2008
Semi-Finalists 2002, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015

Log Placings:

1996: 7th
1997: 9th
1998: 6th
1999: 8th
2000: 9th
2001: 8th
2002: 2nd
2003: 5th
2004: 8th
2005: 2nd
2006: 3rd
2007: 13th
2008: 2nd
2009: 5th
2010: 3rd
2011: 5th
2012: 11th
2013: 9th
2014: 1st
2015: 3rd

Coaches:

1996: Chris Hawkins (convenor), Glen Ella & Matt Williams
1997: Matt Williams (convenor), Steve Lidbury & Alan Gafney
1998: Matt Williams (convenor), Steve Lidbury & Alan Gafney
1999: Matt Williams (convenor), Steve Lidbury & Alan Gafney
2000: Ian Kennedy (convenor), Tim Lane & Darren Coleman
2001: Bob Dwyer (convenor) & Gary Ella
2002: Bob Dwyer (convenor), Gary Ella & Duncan Hall
2003: Bob Dwyer (convenor), Gary Ella & Steve Tuynman
2004: Ewen McKenzie (convenor), Andy Friend, Steve Tuynman & Les Kiss
2005: Ewen McKenzie (convenor), Steve Tuynman & Les Kiss
2006: Ewen McKenzie (convenor), Steve Tuynman & Les Kiss
2007: Ewen McKenzie (convenor) & Steve Tuynman
2008: Ewen McKenzie (convenor) & Steve Tuynman
2009: Chris Hickey (convenor), Scott Wisemantel, Michael Foley & Matt Burke
2010: Chris Hickey (convenor), Michael Foley & Scott Wisemantel
2011: Chris Hickey (convenor)
2012: Michael Foley
2013: Michael Cheika
2014: Michael Cheika
2015: Daryl Gibson
2016: Daryl Gibson

Captains:

1996: Tim Gavin
1997: Tim Gavin
1998: Michael Brial
1999: Michael Brial
2000: Jason Little
2001: Matthew Burke
2002: Matthew Burke
2003: Matthew Burke
2004: Chris Whitaker
2005: Chris Whitaker
2006: Chris Whitaker
2007: Phil Waugh
2008: Phil Waugh
2009: Phil Waugh
2010: Phil Waugh
2011: Rocky Elsom
2012: Rocky Elsom
2013: Dave Dennis
2014: Dave Dennis
2015: Michael Hooper
2016: Michael Hooper

Shop

Our shop is currently under construction - check back later too see the full range at great prices

404 - Page Not Found

Sorry, we couldn't find the page you were looking for. Try going back to the homepage.

Match Tickets

Buy tickets here for the 2017 Pulse Energy Highlanders Investec Super Rugby Season

 

 

Ticket Prices 2016 - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

PRE-PURCHASE PRICES (not including booking fees)

 

Speights Stand Platinum (inside 22m)

Adults: $38.50*, Children: $38.50*

Speights Stand Gold (outside 22m)

Adults: $28.50*, Children: $12.50* (Children primary or secondary aged - school ID may be requested)

North Stand Platinum (inside 22m)

Adults: $38.50*, Children: $38.50* 

North Stand Gold (outside 22m)

Adults: $28.50*, Children: $12.50* (Children primary or secondary aged - school ID may be requested)

 The Zoo (Mitre 10 Stand Bronze GA) – all tickets in this area are general admission

Adults: $12.50-$17.50*

North Stand Lower – ‘Take A Kid To The Highlanders’

1 Adult, 1 Child: $23.00*
Extra Adults $25.00* EXTRA CHILDREN $6.00*

*Service Fees APPLY (TAKE A KID TO THE HIGHLANDERS CHILDREN AGE - 13 or UNDER)

*Game day prices may vary 

 

Stadium Information

SEATING PLAN - Forsyth Barr Stadium

Match Day Promotions

Oceana Gold and New World bring you the ‘Take A Kid To The Highlanders’ programme.

Community Activities

The Highlanders completed just under 1000 hours doing community and promotional events all around Otago and Southland.

The Zoo

  • General Admission $20.00

Media Advisory

Media Sessions

The Highlanders media sessions during the 2016 campaign will be organised as follows:

Pre-season

Please contact Greg O'Brien 021 384 784 to arrange an interview with a coach, player or team management.

In-Season

While the Highlanders are in New Zealand there will be two formal media sessions per week at the team’s base at the High Performance Sport NZ Building (130 Anzac Avenue), Dunedin. A media advisory will be sent out to all listed media (those media included on the Highlanders media list) each Monday during the season. To be included on this media list you must work for a recognised media agency.  Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

Likely Session Days

  • If the team is playing on a Friday, the sessions will be Tuesday and/or Wednesday.
  • For a Saturday game, the sessions will be Tuesday and/or Thursday.

Filming and photographs are to be limited to the warm up part of training. All filming and photography must be advised when requesting a media session.

Please note: before attending a training session all media must contact Greg O'Brien to book a media time.

Team Media Release

The team list will be released no later than 48 hours before the match and the coaching team will be available for comment at the times noted on the media release.

Overseas matches

When the team is overseas, Greg O'Brien (021 384 784) will be the first point of contact for all media enquiries.  The travel details of the Highlanders will be included in the media release for the week ahead and media opportunities will also be highlighted.

Media Accreditation

For media accreditation for Highlanders home matches, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information please contact:

Greg OBriensmall

Greg O'Brien
Highlanders Rugby Club Limited

Mobile: +64 21 384 784
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Privacy Policy

Internet Service Provider

The HIGHLANDERS TRUST web site and electronic mail is not managed by a third party Internet Service Provider (ISP). When you access the HIGHLANDERS TRUST web site or transmit electronic mail to HIGHLANDERS TRUST you, or your ISP, is connecting directly with the HIGHLANDERS TRUST server.

Use of Information

HIGHLANDERS TRUST only requests contact information when required to respond to customer inquiries and support requests. HIGHLANDERS TRUST will only use information provided by users and customers for the purposes for which it was collected.

Cookies

A cookie will be stored on a user's computer when our web-site is accessed. This Cookie is used to synchronize interactions between the user's web browser and our web site. The cookie does not monitor the number of times or when a user or customer visits our site, nor is it used to gather any user information. Internet browsers usually have a facility that allows a user to accept or decline a cookie (refer to the software provider's reference material for more information).

Disclosure

HIGHLANDERS TRUST will not disclose personal information to a third party without the informed consent of the individual. We will ensure that the personal information of users and customers will not be disclosed to any other institutions or authorities except if required to by law other regulation.

Information Collection

When visiting this Internet site, the HIGHLANDERS TRUST server logs the following user information that is provided by the user's browser for statistical purposes only:

  • The type of browser and operating system that the user is using.
  • The user's top level domain name (for example .com, .net, .gov, etc.).
  • The address of the referring site (for example, the previous site the user visited).
  • The user's server's IP address (a number that is unique to the machine through which the user is connected to the Internet: usually one of the user's service provider's machines).

In addition, the HIGHLANDERS TRUST server logs the following information:

  • The date and time of the user's visit.
  • The address of the pages accessed and the documents downloaded.

The above information is used only for statistical analysis and systems administration purposes. No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities, except in the unlikely event of an investigation where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant.

E-mail Details

HIGHLANDERS TRUST will only record an individual's E-mail address if they send us an e-mail message. It will only be used for the purposes for which the individual provides it, and will not be added to a mailing list unless the individual requests that this is done. HIGHLANDERS TRUST will not disclose it without the individual's consent.

Security

Please note that, while all attempts are made to secure information transmitted to this site, there is a possibility that information (such as personal details, credit card numbers or other similar information) submitted could be observed by a third party while in transit.

Record Deletion

HIGHLANDERS TRUST will remove personal information from its systems when it is no longer required (except in the case of archiving).

Adwords & Remarketing

This website uses the Google AdWords remarketing service to advertise on third party websites (including Google) to previous visitors to our site. This could be in the form of an advertisement on the Google search results page, or a site in the Google Display Network. Third-party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to our website. Any data collected will be used in accordance with our own privacy policy and Google’s privacy policy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Privacy Statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this site please contact us.

Terms & Conditions

This page may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information, the terms of which must be observed and followed.

INFORMATION ON THIS WEB SITE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO THE ABOVE EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Information on this web site may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information may be changed or updated without notice. HIGHLANDERS TRUST may also make improvements and/or changes in the products and/or the programs described in this information at any time without notice.

Any comments or materials sent to HIGHLANDERS TRUST including feedback data, such as questions, comments, suggestions, or the like regarding the content of any such documents (collectively 'Feedback'), shall be deemed to be non-confidential. HIGHLANDERS TRUST shall have no obligation of any kind with respect to such Feedback and shall be free to reproduce, use, disclose, exhibit, display, transform, create derivative works and distribute the Feedback to others without limitation. Further, HIGHLANDERS TRUST shall be free to use any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques contained in such Feedback for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to developing, manufacturing and marketing products incorporating such Feedback.

Information HIGHLANDERS TRUST publishes on the World Wide Web may contain references or cross references to HIGHLANDERS TRUST products, programs and services that are not announced or available in your country. Such references do not imply that HIGHLANDERS TRUST intends to announce such products, programs or services in your country. Consult your local HIGHLANDERS TRUST business contact for information regarding the products, programs and services which may be available to you.

HIGHLANDERS TRUST makes no representations whatsoever about any other web site which you may access through this one. When you access a non-HIGHLANDERS TRUST web site, please understand that it is independent from HIGHLANDERS TRUST, and that HIGHLANDERS TRUST has no control over the content on that web site. In addition, a link to a non-HIGHLANDERS TRUST web site does not mean that HIGHLANDERS TRUST endorses or accepts any responsibility for the content, or the use, of such web site. It is up to you to take precautions to ensure that whatever you select for your use is free of such items as viruses, worms, trojan horses and other items of a destructive nature.

IN NO EVENT WILL HIGHLANDERS TRUST BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTY OR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR OTHER CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES FOR ANY USE OF THIS WEBSITE, OR ON ANY OTHER HYPERLINKED WEBSITE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY LOST PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF PROGRAMS OR OTHER DATA ON YOUR INFORMATION HANDLING SYSTEM OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF WE ARE EXPRESSLY ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

© Copyright HIGHLANDERS TRUST 2000. All rights reserved.

Trademark Notice

HIGHLANDERS TRUST web site pages may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information which should be observed.

Any questions concerning the use of these trademarks or whether a name that does not appear on this list is in fact a trademark of HIGHLANDERS TRUST should be referred to HIGHLANDERS TRUST.

Fanzone

HIR0212 HLYou 850x3001

Latest News

Scott McLeod to join All Blacks Coaching Team

MEDIA RELEASE -  SATURDAY 17TH JUNE

McLeod takes on All Black Role

Pulse Energy Highlanders Assistant Coach Scott McLeod will join the All Blacks as Defence Coach at the conclusion of the current Super Rugby season. McLeod has fashioned a reputation as an, innovative and committed defence coach, since his arrival at the club in 2013. In fact the Highlanders have enjoyed one of the better defence records in Super Rugby in recent times.

Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO Roger Clark was pleased for McLeod “the club is delighted for Scott, in reality, just like players coaches have aspirations for higher honours and it’s great for them as individuals and for the club when they achieve them. Jamie, Tony and Scott are now all coaching at international level and that really does reflect the quality of coaching the club has enjoyed in recent times.”

McLeod’s’ time with the Highlanders has coincided with considerable success for the Highlanders club, champions in 2015, semi-finalists in 2016 and already qualified for the playoffs this year.

 “Along with Jamie and Brownie and the rest of the coaching group, Scott has been a big part of our recent success. The heart of our rugby strategy is to recruit people who we believe are Highlander men, people that can add real and lasting value to our club. Scott certainly falls into that category as do our more recent coaching additions Mark Hammett and Aaron Mauger” said Clark.

The Highlanders will seek a replacement for McLeod after the conclusion of the Investec Super Rugby competition “clearly with Scott moving on and of course Tony joining Japan we need to add another coach to our mix from next year. We were very happy to secure the services of Aaron Mauger recently and with Mark Hammett joining us last year we already have two experienced coaches so just how we complement them will be determined through the recruitment process.”

McLeod will transition into the All Black Defence role over the period of the Rugby Championship before Wayne Smith departs at the end of the year.

ENDS

Read More

Fan Promotions

For The Fans

Stay Up To Date With What’s Happening For Our Fans

Read More

Latest match reports

fanzone community s

The Highlanders TV

VIEW OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Optimum Nutrition Support Highlanders & Launch Highlanders TV

The Highlanders are pleased to announce continued support from Optimum Nutrition, official sports nutrition partner to the 2012 Highlanders. Optimum Nutrition has also committed resources to the production of Highlanders TV which will be launched in the coming weeks. Highlanders TV will bring a behind the scenes perspective of the team as they prepare for each round of the 2012 Super Rugby competition.

Pre-Season: Highlanders meet Chiefs in Queenstown

The Highlanders will play the Chiefs at the Queenstown Recreation Ground on Saturday 11 February as part of the teams’ pre-season programme leading into the start of the 2012 Super Rugby competition.

Tickets Go On Sale For Highlanders v Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium

The long wait is over! Tickets will go on sale for the Highlanders v Crusaders game on Wednesday 1 February. The Highlanders will play the Crusaders for the first time at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium and the reduced number of tickets are expected to sell out in record time. Only 22,000 tickets are available for this match and with 7,000 members seats (including Forsyth Barr Foundations Members) already sold, the remaining tickets are excepted to go quickly. To purchase tickets for this match, please visit www.ticketdirect.co.nz on 1 February.

Highlanders Named To Play Crusaders In Greymouth

Highlanders Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Crusaders in Greymouth on Friday 3 February.  The starting XV includes new comers Andrew Hore and Culum Retallick, and also Wider Training Squad members Daniel Ramsay and Glenn Dickson.

Highlanders Named For Chiefs Pre-Season Game On Saturday

Highlanders Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Chiefs in Queenstown on Saturday 11 February. 

Highlanders vs Chiefs, Recreation Ground, Queenstown, Saturday 11 February, 5.00pm.
1 Bronson Murray
2 Jason Rutledge
3 Ma'afu Fia
4 Nick Crosswell (Captain)
5 Culum Retallick
6 Adam Thomson
7 Doug Tietjens
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Lima Sopoaga
11 Hosea Gear
12 Glenn Dickson
13 Ben Smith
14 Telusa Veainu
15 Kurt Baker
16 Andrew Hore
17 Chris King
18 Hoani MacDonald
19 Elliot Dixon
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Buxton Popoali'i
23 Nemia Kenatale
24 Brayden Mitchell
25 Josh Bekhuis

Highlanders Extend Season Ticket Deadline

Highlanders 2012 season ticket sales have already exceeded 2011 numbers and with three weeks before the Highlanders first home game at Forsyth Barr Stadium, the franchise has extended the deadline for renewals until Monday 20 February.

‘We have currently sold 2,460 season tickets which is 60 more seats than our final number last season, so the uptake has been outstanding to date.  We still have around 500 existing ticket holders who are yet to renew, and we have decided to give these members a bit more time to get their forms back to us’ commented Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark.

With a 93% retention rate from 2010 to 2011, the expectation is that the majority of these ticket holders will renew their seats at Forsyth Barr Stadium for 2012.

‘We have been on the phones over the past couple of weeks touching base with the season tickets holders who haven’t yet renewed their seats and the vast majority have indicated that they will sign-up again for 2012’ added Clark.

Of the 2,460 seats sold, approximately 25% are new seats, which are a mix of completely new season ticket holders buying seats, and existing members adding friends and family to their ticket purchase.

‘One of the positive features of the current membership opportunity at the new stadium is that existing members are able to organise their seats to sit with mates or family members. This is one of the factors resulting in the increase in new seats sold this year’ commented Clark.

‘Another positive aspect of our offer this season is the option to use a part payment plan for your membership, using Debit Success, and their highly regarded payment programmes, which allow for weekly, fortnightly, or monthly payments, and helps to make our already affordable pricing even more attractive’

Currently we have 19% of all season ticket purchases taking up this option, which is great!’ added Clarke

Dunedin Venues Management Limited currently has approximately 3,000 foundation members, bringing the overall membership total to just over 5,400.

The Highlanders play their first home match in Dunedin against the Crusaders on Saturday 3 March at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

For more information about Highlanders season tickets, please visit www.ticketdirect.co.nz or www.thehighlanders.co.nz

Pre-Season - Highlanders Named To Play Blues In Auckland

Highlanders Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Blues in Auckland on Friday 17 February.  Please find this below:

Highlanders vs Blues, Uni Tec Ground, Auckland, Friday 17 February, 2.00pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh
2 Andrew Hore
3 Bronson Murray
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Jimmy Cowan
10 Lima Sopoaga
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Ben Smith
14 Telusa Veainu
15 Kurt Baker
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Jacob Ellison
18 Culum Retallick
19 Doug Tietjens
20 Aaron Smith
21 Chris Noakes
22 Buxton Popoali'i
23 Hoani MacDonald
24 Cardiff Vaega
25 Kees Meeuws

Highlanders Named To Play Chiefs In Super Rugby Opener

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Chiefs in Hamilton
tomorrow night. 

Four players will make their Highlanders debut; All Black Andrew Hore will start at hooker for
the first time in Highlanders colours alongside fellow All Black Hosea Gear. Gear will make his
run-on debut for the Highlanders since transferring from the Hurricanes in the off-season. 

Tamati Ellison, who returned to New Zealand from Japan last night, will start at centre and Otago
playmaker Buxton Popoali’i will make his Highlanders debut on the right wing.

The reserves include three newcomers; English international, James Haskell, Bay Of Plenty lock Culum Retallick and Kurt Baker who returns to the squad of 22 after a lengthy injury layoff. 

Highlander’s v Chiefs, Rugby Park Hamilton, Saturday 25 February, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris KING
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Jimmy Cowan
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Buxton Popoali’i
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Aaron Smith
21 Lima Sopoaga
22 Kurt Baker
Head Coach – Jamie Joseph, Assistant Coach – Simon Culhane & Manager – Leicester Rutledge

Injured Update:  Jarrad Hoeata (shoulder), Siale Piutau (ankle), Kade Poki (knee), Kenny Lynn (neck), Colin Slade (groin) Shaun Treeby (knee) & Ma’afu Fia (hamstring).

Highlanders v Chiefs - Sat 25 Feb 2012, Rugby Park, Hamilton

The Highlanders started their 2012 Super campaign with a win in Hamilton tonight against the Chiefs.  The Chiefs went into the halftime break with a 7 point lead.

Highlanders replacement halfback Aaron Smith crossed the chalk in the 63rd minute to swing the momentum and lead back to the Southern Men with 17 minutes on the clock.

Jamie Joseph decisively went to the bench with 20 minutes remaning, and this gave the Highlanders the impetus they needed to notch up their first win of the 2012 season.

Halftime: Chiefs 19 (L Masaga 1 Try, A Cruden 3 Pen 1 Con) - Highlanders 9 (C Noakes 3 Pen)

Final Score: Highlanders 23 (A Smith 1 Try, P Burleigh 1 Try, C Noakes 3 Pen 2 Con)

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Jimmy Cowan
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Buxton Popoali’i
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Aaron Smith
21 Lima Sopoaga
22 Kurt Baker
Head Coach – Jamie Joseph, Assistant Coach – Simon Culhane & Manager – Leicester Rutledge

Chiefs
1.Arizona Taumalolo
2.Hika Elliot
3.Ben Afeaki
4.Craig Clarke
5.Brodie Retallick’
6.Liam Messam (c)
7.Sam Cane
8.Fritz Lee
9.Brendon Leonard
10.Aaron Cruden
11.Tim Nanai-Williams
12.Sonny Bill Williams
13.Richard Kahui
14.Lelia Masaga
15.Robbie Robinson
16.Mahonri Schwalger
17.Toby Smith
18.Michael Fitzgerald
19.Tanerau Latimer
20.Tawera Kerr- Barlow
21.Andrew Horrell
22.Asaeli Tikoirotuma

Highlanders Win In Hamilton

The Highlanders started their 2012 Super campaign with a win in Hamilton tonight against the Chiefs.  The Chiefs went into the halftime break with a 7 point lead.

Highlanders replacement halfback Aaron Smith crossed the chalk in the 63rd minute to swing the momentum and lead back to the Southern Men with 17 minutes on the clock.

Jamie Joseph decisively went to the bench with 20 minutes remaning, and this gave the Highlanders the impetus they needed to notch up their first win of the 2012 season.

Halftime: Chiefs 19 (L Masaga 1 Try, A Cruden 3 Pen 1 Con) - Highlanders 9 (C Noakes 3 Pen)

Final Score: Highlanders 23 (A Smith 1 Try, P Burleigh 1 Try, C Noakes 3 Pen 2 Con)

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Jimmy Cowan
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Buxton Popoali’i
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Aaron Smith
21 Lima Sopoaga
22 Kurt Baker
Head Coach – Jamie Joseph, Assistant Coach – Simon Culhane & Manager – Leicester Rutledge

Chiefs
1.Arizona Taumalolo
2.Hika Elliot
3.Ben Afeaki
4.Craig Clarke
5.Brodie Retallick’
6.Liam Messam (c)
7.Sam Cane
8.Fritz Lee
9.Brendon Leonard
10.Aaron Cruden
11.Tim Nanai-Williams
12.Sonny Bill Williams
13.Richard Kahui
14.Lelia Masaga
15.Robbie Robinson
16.Mahonri Schwalger
17.Toby Smith
18.Michael Fitzgerald
19.Tanerau Latimer
20.Tawera Kerr- Barlow
21.Andrew Horrell
22.Asaeli Tikoirotuma

Season Members Update

Season Members Update - for all season members who have not received their cards, or who have card issues, could you please visit the Door J ticket office (at Forsyth Barr Stadium) any time after 2pm tomorrow (Saturday 3 March) and these issues will be resolved.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Highlanders Named To Play Crusaders At Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Crusaders at Forsyth
Barr Stadium tomorrow night. 

Two changes have been made to the run-on team that beat the Chiefs in Hamilton last weekend. 

Aaron Smith comes in at halfback for Jimmy Cowan who moves to the reserves and Lima Sopoaga
makes his first start for the season, replacing Chris Noakes who injured his ankle in the
season opener.

The reserves bench sees the return of All Black Colin Slade to the 22 and Telusa Veainu comes in for Kurt Baker who drops down to the Highlanders Development team, who are playing their Crusader counterparts at 4pm at the University grounds.

Highlander’s v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Saturday 3 March, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron  Smith
10 Lima Sopoaga
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Buxton Popoali’i
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Colin Slade
22 Telusa Veainu

Highlanders Clock Second Win

The Highlanders played with plently of courage to beat the Crusaders infront of a sell-out crowd at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin tonight.  Leading at the brake by 20 points to 10, the Highlanders allowed the Crusaders back into the game straight after the break through an Andrew Ellis try. However the men from the South swung the momentum back when Hosea Gear crossed in 70th minute to give the Highlanders the winning score.

Final Score Highlanders 27 (20) Crusaders 24 (10)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - A Hore, P Burleigh, H Gear
Pen -L Sopoaga 2
Con - L Sopoaga 3

Crusaders
Tries - I Dagg, A Ellis
Pen - T Bleyendaal 4
Con - T Bleyendaal

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO : Keith Brown

Teams
Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh, (C) 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Chris King, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 5 Nick Crosswell ,6 Adam Thomson, 7 John Hardie, 8 Nasi Manu ,9 Aaron Smith, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Hosea Gear, 12 Phil Burleigh, 13 Tamati Ellison, 14 Buxton Popoali’i, 15 Ben Smith
Reserves: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 James Haskell, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Telusa Veainu

Crusaders
1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Quentin MacDonald,3. Ben Franks,4. Tom Donnelly,5. Samuel Whitelock,6. George Whitelock,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (capt),9. Andy Ellis (vice capt),10. Tyler Bleyendaal,11. Israel Dagg,12. Adam Whitelock,13. Robbie Fruean,14. Sean Maitland,15. Tom Marshall
Reserves:Replacements : 16. Corey Flynn,17. Owen Franks,18. Luke Romano,19. Luke Whitelock,20. Willie Heinz,21. Patrick Osborne,22. Zac Guildford

Highlanders v Crusaders - Sat 3 March, 2012, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders played with plently of courage to beat the Crusaders infront of a sell-out crowd at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin tonight.  Leading at the brake by 20 points to 10, the Highlanders allowed the Crusaders back into the game straight after the break through an Andrew Ellis try. However the men from the South swung the momentum back when Hosea Gear crossed in 70th minute to give the Highlanders the winning score.

Final Score Highlanders 27 (20) Crusaders 24 (10)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - A Hore, P Burleigh, H Gear
Pen -L Sopoaga 2
Con - L Sopoaga 3

Crusaders
Tries - I Dagg, A Ellis
Pen - T Bleyendaal 4
Con - T Bleyendaal

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO : Keith Brown

Teams
Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh, (C) 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Chris King, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 5 Nick Crosswell ,6 Adam Thomson, 7 John Hardie, 8 Nasi Manu ,9 Aaron Smith, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Hosea Gear, 12 Phil Burleigh, 13 Tamati Ellison, 14 Buxton Popoali’i, 15 Ben Smith
Reserves: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 James Haskell, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Telusa Veainu

Crusaders
1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Quentin MacDonald,3. Ben Franks,4. Tom Donnelly,5. Samuel Whitelock,6. George Whitelock,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (capt),9. Andy Ellis (vice capt),10. Tyler Bleyendaal,11. Israel Dagg,12. Adam Whitelock,13. Robbie Fruean,14. Sean Maitland,15. Tom Marshall
Reserves:Replacements : 16. Corey Flynn,17. Owen Franks,18. Luke Romano,19. Luke Whitelock,20. Willie Heinz,21. Patrick Osborne,22. Zac Guildford

Highlanders Named To Play Waratahs At Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Waratahs at Forsyth
Barr Stadium tomorrow night. 

Two changes have been made to the run-on team that beat the Crusaders in Dunedin last weekend. 

Kade Poki comes into the starting XV for the first time this season, replacing Buxton Popoali’i
on the right wing.  Colin Slade will start at fullback, replacing Ben Smith who suffered a head
knock against the Crusaders.

Highlanders Captain Jamie Mackintosh will play his 50th game for the franchise tomorrow night.

Highlander’s v Waratahs, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Saturday 10 March, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron  Smith
10 Lima Sopoaga
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kade Poki
15 Colin Sade
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Kurt Baker
22 Buxton Popoali’i

Highlanders Beat Waratahs

The Highlanders have won their third successive game this season betting the Waratahs in Dunedin tonight.

It was a brusing encounter at Forsyth Barr Stadium in front of a 17,000-strong crowd, and the home team almost brought the roof down when the match clock ticked pass 80 minutes and referee Bryce Lawrence blew the final whistle.

Final Score Highlanders 18 (A Smith Try, J Hardie try, C Slade 1 Pen & 1 Con) Waratahs 17 (P McCutcheon 1 Try, D Halangahu 4 Pen)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - A Smith, J Hardie
Pen - C Slade
Con - C Slade 

Waratahs
Tries - P McCutcheon
Pen - D Halangahu 4
 

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1:Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Garratt Williamson
TMO : Kane McBride

Teams

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C), 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Chris King, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 5 Nick Crosswell, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 John Hardie, 8 Nasi Manu, 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Hosea Gear, 12 Phil Burleigh, 13 Tamati Ellison ,14 Kade Poki, 15 Colin Sade,
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge,17 Bronson Murray, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 James Haskell ,20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Kurt Baker,22 Buxton Popoali'i

Waratahs
15. Bernard Foley , 14. Tom Kingston , 13. Rob Horne , 12. Berrick Barnes , 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper , 10. Daniel Halangahu , captain 9. Sarel Pretorius 8. Tevita Metuisela , 7. Pat McCutcheon , 6. Dave Dennis , 5. Kane Douglas , 4. Dean Mumm , 3. Sekope Kepu , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 1. Benn Robinson , vice captain
Replacements 16. John Ulugia , 17. Paddy Ryan , 18. Lopeti Timani , 19. Jono Jenkins , 20. Brendan McKibbin , 21. Tom Carter , 22. Brackin Karuaria-Henry

Highlanders v Waratahs - Sat 10 March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders have won their third successive game this season betting the Waratahs in Dunedin tonight.

It was a brusing encounter at Forsyth Barr Stadium in front of a 17,000-strong crowd, and the home team almost brought the roof down when the match clock ticked pass 80 minutes and referee Bryce Lawrence blew the final whistle.

Final Score Highlanders 18 (A Smith Try, J Hardie try, C Slade 1 Pen & 1 Con) Waratahs 17 (P McCutcheon 1 Try, D Halangahu 4 Pen)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - A Smith, J Hardie
Pen - C Slade
Con - C Slade 

Waratahs
Tries - P McCutcheon
Pen - D Halangahu 4
 

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1:Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Garratt Williamson
TMO : Kane McBride

Teams

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C), 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Chris King, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 5 Nick Crosswell, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 John Hardie, 8 Nasi Manu, 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Hosea Gear, 12 Phil Burleigh, 13 Tamati Ellison ,14 Kade Poki, 15 Colin Sade,
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge,17 Bronson Murray, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 James Haskell ,20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Kurt Baker,22 Buxton Popoali'i

Waratahs
15. Bernard Foley , 14. Tom Kingston , 13. Rob Horne , 12. Berrick Barnes , 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper , 10. Daniel Halangahu , captain 9. Sarel Pretorius 8. Tevita Metuisela , 7. Pat McCutcheon , 6. Dave Dennis , 5. Kane Douglas , 4. Dean Mumm , 3. Sekope Kepu , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 1. Benn Robinson , vice captain
Replacements 16. John Ulugia , 17. Paddy Ryan , 18. Lopeti Timani , 19. Jono Jenkins , 20. Brendan McKibbin , 21. Tom Carter , 22. Brackin Karuaria-Henry

Highlanders Development XV Beat Samoa A

Two tries from Highlanders midfielder Shaun Treeby gave the Highlanders Development XV a narrow four point lead at halftime against the visiting Samoa A side in Dunedin this afternoon.  The Samoan’s stuck to their task and scored a couple of tries in the second half, but Highlanders First-five Hayden Parker, who kicked four penalties and four conversions, ensured the home team came out with the win after 80 minutes.  The final score was 39-27 to the Highlanders Development team (halftime 14-10).

Highlanders Named To Play Hurricanes

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Hurricanes at Westpac
Stadium in Wellington tomorrow night.

Three changes have been made to the run-on team that beat the Waratahs in Dunedin last weekend. 

In the forwards, Ma’afu Fia makes his first starting appearance for the Highlanders this season. In
The backs, Ben Smith makes his return to the run-on XV after sustaining a head knock against the
Crusaders and halfback Jimmy Cowan makes his first start of the 2012 campaign.

Smith will start at fullback and Colin Slade will move into first-five, replacing Lima Sopoaga which sustained a shoulder injury against the Waratahs.

Chris Noakes also returns from injury and will join the 22.

Highlanders v Hurricanes, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 17 March, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Ma’afu Fia King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Jimmy  Cowan
10 Colin Slade
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kade Poki
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Aaron Smith
21 Chris Noakes
22 Buxton Popoali’i

Highlanders Win In Wellington

Replacement first five Chris Noakes kicked a crucial penalty with 6 minutes to play to give the Highlanders their fourth win of the season in Wellington tonight. Colin Slade was impressive in his first start of the season, scoring a try near the posts midway through the first half. The visitors went to the break one point down, but a strong second half gave the Highlanders opportunity to convert points which they took. The final score was 19-17. The Highlanders next face the Brumbies in Canberra.

Final Score Hurricanes 17 (14) Highlanders 19 (13)
Scorers
Hurricanes
Tries - C Jane
Pen - B Barrett 4

Highlanders
Tries - C Slade
Pen - C Slade 4, C Noakes
Con - C Slade

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1:Keith Brown
Assistant Ref 2:Mike Fraser
TMO : Richard Kelly

Teams

Hurricanes
1. Ben May,2. Dane Coles,3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. Jason Eaton,6. Faifili Levave,7. Jack Lam,8. Victor Vito,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Tim Bateman,13. Conrad Smith (c),14. Cory Jane,15. Andre Taylor
Replacements :16. Motu Matu’u,17. Michael Bent,18. James Broadhurst,19. Brad Shields,20. Chris Eaton,21. Daniel Kirkpatrick,22. Charlie Ngatai

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Ma'afu Fia King 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Nick Crosswell 6 Adam Thomson 7 John Hardie 8 Nasi Manu 9 Jimmy Cowan 10 Colin Slade 11 Hosea Gear 12 Phil Burleigh 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Kade Poki 15 Ben Smith
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Culum Retallick 19 James Haskell 20 Aaron Smith 21 Chris Noakes 22 Buxton Popoali'i

Highlanders Development XV Beat Tonga A

Highlanders Development right wing Marshall Suckling crossed for four tries in Dunedin today assisting the home side to a 62-8 victory over Tonga A.  The first 39 minutes was a real arm wrestle with both teams trading penalties until the Highlanders crossed just before halftime to give the home team a 13-3 lead.  The Highlanders took control in the second half scoring seven tries to one and with both Hayden Parker and Peter Breen (Parkers replacement) converting all eight tries to see the home team complete a near perfect score sheet.  (Final score 62-8, halftime 13-3)

HIGHLANDERS DEVELOPMENT XV
1.JACOB ELLISON  (C)
2.BRAYDEN MITCHELL
3.SCOTT MANSON
4.DANIEL RAMSAY
5.JARRAD HOEATA
6.LEE ALLAN
7.ADAM HILL
8.ELLIOT DIXON
9.BRAD WEBER
10.HAYDEN PARKER
11.MATT FADDES
12.CARDIFF VAEGA
13.KIERAN MOFFAT
14.MARSHALL SUCKLING
15.KURT BAKER
16.SAM STURGESS
17.BRETT ANDERSON
18.TOM FRANKLIN
19.PAUL GRANT
20.JOHNNY LEGG
21.PETER BREEN
22.MICHAEL COLLINS

Highlanders Named To Play Brumbies

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Brumbies in Canberra
tomorrow night.  He has made five changes to the run-on team that beat the Hurricanes in
Wellington last weekend. 

In the forwards, Chris King comes back into the front row replacing Ma’afu Fia.  Culum Retallick,
James Haskell and Doug Tietjens all make their run-on debut for the 2012 season.

In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to halfback, with Jimmy Cowan returning to the reserves and
Shaun Treeby makes his return from injury.

Elliot Dixon joins the reserves with John Hardie out of the 22 due to a foot injury.

Highlanders v Brumbies, Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Saturday 24 March, 9.40pm (NZT).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Culum Retallick
6 James Haskell
7 Doug Tietjens
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Colin Slade
11 Hosea Gear
12 Shaun Treeby
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kade Poki
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Nick Crosswell
19 Elliot Dixon
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Buxton Popoali’i

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph, Assistant Coach – Simon Culhane, Manager – Leicester Rutledge

Injured Update:  Jarrad Hoeata (shoulder), Siale Piutau (ankle), Kenny Lynn (neck), John Hardie (foot), Phil Burleigh (leg) & Telusa Veainu (concussion).

Highlanders Lose To Brumbies

The Highlanders lost tonight to the Brumbies in Canberra 33-26 with the home side crossing for three tries.  The Highlanders were down 20-13 at the break and a second half try to Shaun Treeby brought them back into the match, however a late try from Brumbies openside flanker Michael Hooper, put the match beyond reach.  Highlanders first-five Colin Slade left the field early in the second half with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

Final Score Brumbies 33 (20) Highlanders 26 (13)   Scorers

Brumbies Tries - J. Tomane 2, M Hooper Pen - C. Lealiifano 4 Con - C. Lealiifano 5

Highlanders Tries - A Smith, S Treeby Pen - C Slade 2, C Noakes Con - C Slade 2 Drop - C Slade

Match Officials Referee: Louren van der Merwe Assistant Referee 1: Marius Jonker Assistant Referee 2: Simon Moore TMO: Steve Leszczynski   Teams

Brumbies   1. Ben Alexander ,2. Stephen Moore ,3. Dan Palmer ,4. Leon Power ,5. Sam Carter ,6. Peter Kimlin ,7. Michael Hooper ,8. Ben Mowen (c) ,9. Nic White ,10. Christian Lealiifano ,11. Henry Speight ,12. Pat McCabe ,13. Andrew Smith ,14. Joe Tomane ,15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements:16. Anthony Hegarty ,17. Ruaidhri Murphy ,18. Scott Fardy ,19. Ita Vaea ,20. Ian Prior ,21. Zack Holmes ,22. Tevita Kuridrani

Highlanders   1 Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Chris King 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Culum Retallick 6 James Haskell 7 Doug Tietjens 8 Nasi Manu 9 Aaron Smith 10 Colin Slade 11 Hosea Gear 12 Shaun Treeby 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Kade Poki 15 Ben Smith   Replacements : 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Nick Crosswell 19 Elliot Dixon 20 Jimmy Cowan 21 Chris Noakes 22 Buxton Popoali'i

Highlanders Named To Play Rebels

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Rebels in Invercargill
tomorrow night.  He has made five changes to the run-on team that played the Brumbies in
Canberra last weekend. 

In the forwards, Jason Rutledge comes back into the front row replacing Andrew Hore.  Jarrad
Hoeata makes his return from injury and Adam Thomson also makes a return to the starting pack.
English international James Haskell makes his first start of the season at blindside flanker.

In the backs, Chris Noakes will start at first-five with Colin Slade suffering a serious leg injury against the
Brumbies.

Highlanders v Rebels, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill, Friday 30 March, 7.35pm (NZT).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Jason Rutledge
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Jarrad Hoeata
6 James Haskell
7 Adam Thomson
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Shaun Treeby
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kade Poki
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Brayden Mitchell
17 Ma’afu Fia
18 Culum Retallick
19 Doug Tietjens
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Phil Burleigh
22 Buxton Popoali’i

Highlanders Beat Rebels

On a mild night in Invercargill the Highlanders turned a cold start into a super hot finish to beat the Rebels 43-12 to collect their first 4-try bonus point win of the season tonight.  The Highlanders went into the shed with a 12 points on the scoreboard, the same as the Rebels, but seven trys in the second half saw the home team run out convincing winners.  Adam Thomson starred for the Highlanders scoring three tries and he was supported by a forward pack that dominated the majority of the match.  Ben Smith was another standout, assisting Thomson with his efforts across the line and bagging a brace of tries himself.

Final Score Highlanders 43 (12) Rebels 12 (12)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - B. Smith 2, A. Thomson 3, K. Poki, J. Mackintosh
Con - C. Noakes 4 
Cards - D. Tietjens (yellow)

Rebels 
Pen - J. O'Connor 4 
Cards - L. Johansson (yellow and white),

Match Officials
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1: Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Lourens vd Merwe
TMO: Kane McBride

Teams

Highlanders
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Jason Rutledge. 3. Chris King, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. James Haskell, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Chris Noakes, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Ben Smith.
Reserves: 16. Brayden Mitchell, 17. Ma'afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Phil Burleigh, 22. Buxton Popoali'i.

Melbourne Rebels
1. Nic Henderson, 2..Adam Freier, 3. Laurie Weeks, 4. Luke Jones, 5. Hugh Pyle (vc), 6. Jarrod Saffy, 7.Tom Chamberlain, 8. Gareth Delve (c), 9. Nick Phipps, 10. James O'Connor, 11. Cooper Vuna, 12. Lloyd Johansson, 13. Lachlan Mitchell, 14. Mark Gerrard, 15. Kurtley Beale.
Replacements: 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Rodney Blake, 18. Alister Campbell, 19. Michael Lipman, 20. Nic Stirzaker, 21. James Hilgendorf, 22. Julian Huxley

 

Brumbies v Highlanders - Sat 24 March, Canberra Stadium, Canberra

The Highlanders lost tonight to the Brumbies in Canberra 33-26 with the home side crossing for three tries.  The Highlanders were down 20-13 at the break and a second half try to Shaun Treeby brought them back into the match, however a late try from Brumbies openside flanker Michael Hooper, put the match beyond reach.  Highlanders first-five Colin Slade left the field early in the second half with what appeared to be a serious leg injury

Final Score Brumbies 33 (20) Highlanders 26 (13)

Scorers

Brumbies
Tries - J. Tomane 2, M Hooper
Pen - C. Lealiifano 4
Con - C. Lealiifano 5

Highlanders
Tries - A Smith, S Treeby
Pen - C Slade 2, C Noakes
Con - C Slade 2
Drop - C Slade

Match Officials
Referee: Louren van der Merwe
Assistant Referee 1: Marius Jonker
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Moore
TMO: Steve Leszczynski

Teams

Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander ,2. Stephen Moore ,3. Dan Palmer ,4. Leon Power ,5. Sam Carter ,6. Peter Kimlin ,7. Michael Hooper ,8. Ben Mowen (c) ,9. Nic White ,10. Christian Lealiifano ,11. Henry Speight ,12. Pat McCabe ,13. Andrew Smith ,14. Joe Tomane ,15. Jesse Mogg
Replacements:16. Anthony Hegarty ,17. Ruaidhri Murphy ,18. Scott Fardy ,19. Ita Vaea ,20. Ian Prior ,21. Zack Holmes ,22. Tevita Kuridrani

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Chris King 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Culum Retallick 6 James Haskell 7 Doug Tietjens 8 Nasi Manu 9 Aaron Smith 10 Colin Slade 11 Hosea Gear 12 Shaun Treeby 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Kade Poki 15 Ben Smith
Replacements : 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Nick Crosswell 19 Elliot Dixon 20 Jimmy Cowan 21 Chris Noakes 22 Buxton Popoali'i

Highlanders Named For Stormers Match

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Stormers in Dunedin
tomorrow night.  He has made only one change to the run-on team that played the Rebels in
Invercargill last Friday night; Andrew Hore returns to the starting pack and Jason Rutledge
moves to the reserves. 

Jimmy Cowan will make his 100th appearance for the franchise if he takes the field, only the second
player to reach this momentous achievement,  following former Highlanders’ Captain Anton Oliver
who played 127 games for the franchise.  

Hooker Jason Rutledge will also reach the milestone of 50 games if he takes the field tomorrow night.

Mike Delany has joined the Highlanders this week and is not ready to play. It is hoped that he will be fit to play
against the Blues following the Highlanders bye week.

Highlanders v Stormers, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Saturday 7 April, 7.35pm (NZT).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Jarrad Hoeata
6 James Haskell
7 Adam Thomson
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Shaun Treeby
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kade Poki
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Ma’afu Fia
18 Culum Retallick
19 Doug Tietjens
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Buxton Popoali’i
22 Phil  Burleigh

Highlanders Lose To Stormers

The Highlanders suffered their second loss of the season going down to the Stormers 21-6 at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight. The Stormers scored two tries and played an aggressive style of Rugby which laid the foundation for the win. Highlanders pivot, Chris Noakes, kicked two penalties for the home side.

It was a special night for Jimmy Cowan and Jason Rutledge who both bought up milestones; Cowan played his 100th game for the Highlanders and Rutledge his 50th.

 142541472 - copy

Jimmy Cowan pictured with former All Black Captain and NZRU Board Members, Graham Mourie, who presented Cowan with a Mere for reaching the 100 game milestone.

Final Score Highlanders 6 (6) Stormers 21 (15).

Scorers

Highlanders
Pen - C. Noakes 2

Stormers
Tries - G. Aplon, J. Pietersen
Pen - J. Pietersen, P. Grant 2
Con - P. Grant
Cards - T. Liebenberg (yellow)

Match Officials
Referee:Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1: Keith Brown
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO: Vinny Munro

Teams

Highlanders
15. Ben Smith, 14. Kade Poki, 13. Tamati Ellison, 12. Shaun Treeby, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Chris Noakes, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. James Haskell, 6. Adam Thompson, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 3. Chris King, 2. Andrew Hore, 1. Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Ma'afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Buxton Popoali'i, 22. Phil Burleigh.

Replacements: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Ma'afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Buxton Popoali'i, 22. Phil Burleigh.

Stormers

15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean De Villiers (c), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker (vc), 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Brok Harris, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Nic Koster, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard van den Heever.

 

Hale T-Pole & Mike Delany Join The Highlanders

Former Highlanders, Mike Delany and Hale T-Pole have both rejoined the Dunedin-based franchise as cover for the injury-hit squad.

Delany, a Highlander in 2008 has been playing rugby in Japan and will cover first-five eight, following serious injuries to both Colin Slade and Lima Sopoaga. 

Delany played 9 games for the Highlanders in 2008 before heading to the Chiefs in 2009 where he made 22 appearances over three seasons before heading to Japan at the end of the 2011 season.  Delany was selected for the All Blacks in 2010 and played one test match against Italy in Milan.

A former Otago and Southland representative, T-Pole has joined the squad as temporary cover for loose forward John Hardie, who has sustained a season-ending foot injury. 

T-Pole made his debut for the Highlanders in 2004 against the Cats and then went on to play 19 games for the Highlanders between 2004 and 2007. He has been playing in Japan since 2008, most recently for the Ricoh Black Rams. 

New Zealand rugby pays tribute to Jimmy Cowan

Media note:  Jimmy Cowan will be available for interview today at the Highlanders media session at 4.30PM at Logan Park, Dunedin. For further information contact Doug McSweeney on the details below.

New Zealand Rugby has today paid tribute to All Blacks, Highlanders and Southland halfback Jimmy Cowan who has announced he will be leaving New Zealand to play for English club Gloucester.

28–year–old Cowan, who is currently in the midst of his tenth year with the Highlanders, will leave for Gloucester later in the year.

Cowan has played 51 Tests for the All Blacks since making his Test debut against Italy on the 2004 Northern Hemisphere tour. He played his 50th Test against Canada in last year’s Rugby World Cup. Ten days ago former All Blacks captain and New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) Board Member Graham Mourie presented Cowan with a commemorative greenstone mere on behalf of the NZRU to celebrate him becoming just the second Highlanders player (behind hooker Anton Oliver) to play 100 matches for the franchise. He has also clocked up 94 matches for his beloved Southland province.

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said: “Jimmy is one of the real characters of New Zealand rugby and has grown so much as a player and a person since coming onto the scene more than a decade ago. He has been an incredibly loyal player – for his club, province, the Highlanders and the All Blacks – and we wish him well.”

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen said: “Jimmy has been an outstanding All Black and given his all every time he has worn the black jersey.  He is a passionate player and fantastic team man who wears his heart on his sleeve. Jimmy has the respect of all his teammates because of his commitment to the team and his mates and we are very proud of what he has achieved at all levels of the game.  When he does go, he goes with the best wishes of the team.”

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said Jimmy had been an exceptional and loyal Highlander since playing his first game back in 2003.

“He is revered by the fans and admired by his peers as a player who never gives less than 100 percent on the field. Jimmy always put the team first and he will always have a special place in the hearts of Highlanders players and fans. After over 100 games and nine years with the Highlanders, Jimmy will depart the Highlanders and New Zealand with the blessing of every rugby fan south of the Waitaki.”

Highlanders Coach Jamie Joseph said: “Jimmy has been a player who has always given his all on the field and I’m sure he will continue to do so in the future. As one of only two players to play 100 games for the Highlanders he leaves behind a significant legacy.”

Rugby Southland General Manager Brian Hopley said: “For over a decade Jimmy has been an outstanding ambassador for Southland Rugby. He has shown through his achievements just what is possible by staying loyal. Jimmy has accomplished some notable milestones recently and we look forward to him having the chance to reach another this season with 100 games for the Stags. We wish Jimmy all the best and know he will continue to make Southlanders proud.”

Hailing from the small Southland town of Mataura, Jimmy Cowan is a big, strong halfback with an eye for the gap around rucks and mauls. A scrappy, physical player, clever kicker and strong runner on the burst, Cowan isn’t one to back down from any opponent. After making his All Blacks Test debut in 2004, he cemented his spot in the team in 2008, starting in eight Tests and coming off the bench in four more.  He was also part of the All Blacks Rugby World Cup-winning squad in 2011 and has scored seven tries in the black jersey.  He made his provincial debut for Southland in 2000 and in 2004 at the age of 22 became the youngest player to play 50 games for his province.  He made his Highlanders debut in 2003, was New Zealand’s Super Rugby player of the year in 2005 and captained the Highlanders in 2010.

Highlanders Named For Blues Match

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Blues in Dunedin
tomorrow night.  He has made two changes to the run-on team that played the Stormers in
Dunedin at Easter.

Mike Delany will start at first-five ahead of Chris Noakes who moves to the reserves bench.  Ben
Smith has not recovered from the knock he received in the Stormers match, so Tamati Ellison will
start at fullback and Phil Burleigh comes back into the starting XV at centre.

Lock Josh Bekhuis will also reach the milestone of 50 games when he takes the field tomorrow night.

The match takes on additional significance as both teams are playing for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy – the Blues currently hold the Trophy.

Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Friday 20 April, 7.35pm (NZT).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Jarrad Hoeata
6 Adam Thomson
7 James Haskell
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Mike Delany
11 Hosea Gear
12 Shaun Treeby
13 Phil Burleigh
14 Kade Poki
15 Tamati Ellison
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Ma’afu Fia
18 Doug Tietjens
19 Culum  Retallick
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Kurt  Baker

Highlanders Beat Blues

The Highlanders came from behind in Dunedin tonight to beat the Blues and win the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy for the first time since 2006.  The home team took a two point lead into the break, but fell behind in the second spell when Rene Ranger crossed for the Blues with 17 minutes remaining on the ever accurate stadium clock.  Referee Bryce Lawrence threatened to blow the pea out of his whistle as the penalty count mounted and it was great to see replacement full back Kurt Baker touch down for the match-winning try!

Final Score Highlanders 30 (16) Blues 27 (14).

Highlanders
Tries - S. Treeby, K. Baker
Pen - M. Delany 6
Con - M. Delany 2

Blues
Tries - H. Parkes, R. Ranger
Pen - G. Anscombe 5
Con - G. Anscombe

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO:Vinny Munro

Teams
Highlanders:
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Chris King, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. James Haskell, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Mike Delany, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Phil Burleigh, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Tamati Ellison.
Reserves: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Ma’afu Fia, 18. Doug Tietjens, 19. Culum Retallick, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Chris Noakes, 22. Kurt Baker.

Blues
1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Tom McCartney, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Ali Williams, 5. Filo Paulo, 6. Chris Lowrey, 7. Luke Braid (c), 8. Peter Saili, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 11. Benson Stanley, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 13. Rene Ranger, 14. George Moala, 15. Hadleigh Parkes.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Dan Braid, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 David Raikuna.

Highlanders Named For Cheetahs

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on
Sunday morning (NZ time).  He has made one change to the run-on team that played the Blues in
Dunedin last Friday night.

Fullback Ben Smith returns to the starting XV and Tamati Ellison moves from fullback to centre in  
place of Phil Burleigh who drops out of the 22. 

On the reserves bench, Tongan international Siale Piutau make a welcome return to the 22 after an ankle injury.

Highlanders v Cheetahs, Bloemfontein, Saturday 28 April, 5.05pm (3.05am NZT).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Jarrad Hoeata
6 Adam Thomson
7 James Haskell
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Mike Delany
11 Hosea Gear
12 Shaun Treeby
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Buxton Popoali’i
15 Ben Smith
 

Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Ma’afu Fia
18 Culum Retallick
19 Doug Tietjens
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Siale Piutau

Highlanders Win Thriller Against Cheetahs

Chris Noakes kicked a 79th minute penalty to give the Highlanders an amazing victory against the Cheetahs tonight.  The Highlanders were down 23-9 at the break, however two tries in three minutes to replacement halfback Jimmy Cowan gave the Highlanders all they needed to get back into the match.  The scores were levelled with five minutes to play, and the Cheetahs were handed the chance to win the game with a penalty awarded right in front of the hornes. The Bloemfontein crowd could not believe their eyes as Sias Ebersohn hooks the penalty from directly in front giving the Highlanders an opportunity to win the game, which they took in the 79th minute.  Ben Smith was a standout for the Highlanders and was named man of the match.  

The final score is Cheetahs 33 (23) Highlanders 36 (9).
Scorers

Cheetahs
Tries - C. Oosthuizen, A. Ferreira, J. Goosen
Pen - J. Goosen 3, S. Ebersohn
Con - J. Goosen 2, S. Ebersohn

Highlanders
Tries - C. Noakes, J. Cowan 2
Pen -  M. Delany 3, C. Noakes 2
Con - M. Delany, C. Noakes 2
Cards - A. Hore (yellow), J. Haskell (yellow and white)

Match Officials
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 1: Sindile Mayende
Assistant Ref 2: Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Teams

Cheetahs:
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Cameron Jacobs, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Willie le Roux, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Tewis de Bruyn, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Justin Downey, 6. Heinrich Brüssow, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. George Earle, 19. Ashley Johnson, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Philip Snyman.

Highlanders
1. Jamie Mackintosh (C,) 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Chris King, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. James Haskell, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Mike Delany, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Buxton Popoali’i, 15. Ben Smith.
Replacements: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Ma’afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Chris Noakes, 22, Siale Piutau.

Highlanders Named To Play Sharks

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Sharks in Durban on
Sunday morning (NZ time).  He has made two changes to the run-on team that played the Cheetahs in
Bloemfontein last weekend.

Doug Tietjens makes his second start for the Highlanders replacing James Haskell who has been
suspended for three weeks.  Siale Piutau also comes into the starting XV replacing livewire wing
Buxton Popoali’i.

Fullback Ben Smith will make his 50th appearance for the franchise, after making his debut in 2009 against the Brumbies.

On the reserves bench, Elliot Dixon comes into the 22 along with Kurt Baker as forwards and backs cover respectively.

Highlanders v Sharks, Durban, Saturday 5 May, 5.05pm (Sunday 6 May - 3.05am NZT).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Jarrad Hoeata
6 Adam Thomson
7 Doug Tietjens
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Mike Delany
11 Hosea Gear
12 Shaun Treeby
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Siale Piutau
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Ma’afu Fia/Jacob Ellison
18 Culum Retallick
19 Elliot Dixon
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Kurt Baker

Highlanders Lose To Sharks

The Highlanders went down to the Sharks in Durban tonight - 28 points to 16.  The Highlanders were first to cross the chalk, with replacement Kurt Baker scoring his second try of the season, however this was not enough as the boot of Springbok Patrick Lambie proved to be the difference.   Lambie kicked seven panalities and crossed for his sides only try which he duly converted to score all 28 points for the home side. 

The Highlanders have some injury concerns following the game, with Shaun Treeby, Elliot Dixon and Doug Teitjens all suffering injuries during the game.  The Highlanders now travel back to Dunedin to play the Hurricanes on Saturday 12 May at Forsyth Barr Stadium.


The full time score is Sharks 28 Highlanders 16
 
Scorers
Sharks
Tries -P Lambie
Pen - P Lambie 7
Con -  P Lambie
Cards - J Botes (31st min yellow)

Highlanders
Tries - K Baker
Pen - M Delany 3
Con - M Delany

Match Officials
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 2:Reuben Roussouw
TMO:Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Sharks
1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis / Wiehahn Herbst, 4. Steven Sykes, 5. Anton Bresler, 6. Jacques Botes, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 8. Keegan Daniel (C), 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Patrick Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Tim Whitehead, 13. Paul Jordaan, 14. JP Pietersen, 15. Louis Ludik
Replacements, 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst / Jannie du Plessis, 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Ryan Kankowski, 21. Frederic Michalak, 22. Meyer Bosman

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Chris King 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 Doug Tietjens, 8 Nasi Manu ,9 Aaron Smith, 10 Mike Delany ,11 Hosea Gear ,12 Shaun Treeby ,13 Tamati Ellison, 14 Siale Piutau, 15 Ben Smith
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Ma’afu Fia/Jacob Ellison, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Elliot Dixon ,20 Jimmy Cowan ,21 Chris Noake, 22 Kurt Baker

Highlanders v Sharks - Sat 5 May, Kings Park, Durban

The Highlanders went down to the Sharks in Durban tonight - 28 points to 16.  The Highlanders were first to cross the chalk, with replacement Kurt Baker scoring his second try of the season, however this was not enough as the boot of Springbok Patrick Lambie proved to be the difference.   Lambie kicked seven panalities and crossed for his sides only try which he duly converted to score all 28 points for the home side.
The Highlanders have some injury concerns following the game, with Shaun Treeby, Elliot Dixon and Doug Teitjens all suffering injuries during the game.  The Highlanders now travel back to Dunedin to play the Hurricanes on Saturday 12 May at Forsyth Barr Stadium.


The full time score is Sharks 28 Highlanders 16
 
Scorers
Sharks
Tries -P Lambie
Pen - P Lambie 7
Con -  P Lambie
Cards - J Botes (31st min yellow)

Highlanders
Tries - K Baker
Pen - M Delany 3
Con - M Delany

Match Officials
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 2:Reuben Roussouw
TMO:Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Sharks
1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis / Wiehahn Herbst, 4. Steven Sykes, 5. Anton Bresler, 6. Jacques Botes, 7. Marcell Coetzee, 8. Keegan Daniel (C), 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Patrick Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Tim Whitehead, 13. Paul Jordaan, 14. JP Pietersen, 15. Louis Ludik
Replacements, 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst / Jannie du Plessis, 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Ryan Kankowski, 21. Frederic Michalak, 22. Meyer Bosman

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Chris King 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 Doug Tietjens, 8 Nasi Manu ,9 Aaron Smith, 10 Mike Delany ,11 Hosea Gear ,12 Shaun Treeby ,13 Tamati Ellison, 14 Siale Piutau, 15 Ben Smith
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Ma’afu Fia/Jacob Ellison, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Elliot Dixon ,20 Jimmy Cowan ,21 Chris Noake, 22 Kurt Baker

Highlanders Named To Play Hurricanes

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr
Stadium in Dunedin tomorrow night.  He has made three changes to the run-on team that played the
Sharks in Durban last weekend.

Ma’afu Fia and Nick Crosswell come into the forward pack replacing Jamie Mackintosh and Doug Tietjens. 
Tietjens suffered a serious knee injury in South Africa and the Highlanders skipper, Mackintosh,
has been rested after playing every game this season. Fia will start on the tight-head side of the
scrum, moving Chris King to loosehead; Crosswell will start at blindside flanker, with Adam Thomson shifting to openside.

In the backs, Phil Burleigh comes back into the run-on XV in place of Shaun Treeby who suffered a broken cheekbone against the Sharks last weekend.

On the reserves bench, Bronson Murray and Kenny Lynn return to the 22 after injury layoffs and Southland flanker Tim Boys makes a welcome return to Super Rugby.

Andrew Hore will captain the Highlanders this weekend.

Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Saturday 12 May, 7.35pm.
1 Chris King
2 Andrew Hore (c)
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Jarrad Hoeata
6 Nick Crosswell
7 Adam Thomson
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Mike Delany
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Siale Piutau
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 Tim Boys
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Kenny Lynn

Highlanders Lose To Hurricanes

The Highlanders lost in Dunedin tonight to the Hurricanes 26-20. The Highlanders controlled much of the match but the Hurricanes scored a try with 8 minutes to play to take the lead for the first time and this became the decisive blow for the home side. The Highlanders were again buoyed by a massive home crowd of 18,500 which added to the tension and drama that unfolded on the field.

Final Score Highlanders 20 (14) Hurricanes 26 (9)

Scorers

Highlanders Tries - C Noakes, A Thomson Pen - M Delany Con - C Noakes 3 Drop - Cards -

Hurricanes Tries - F. Levave, J. Savea Pen - B Barrett 4 Con - B Barrett 2 Drop - Cards -

Match Officials Referee: Glen Jackson Assistant Ref 1:Keith Brown Assistant Ref 2:Matthew Muir TMO : Vinny Munro   Teams

Hurricanes

1. Reggie Goodes,2. Dane Coles,3. Ben May,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. Jason Eaton,6. Faifili Levave,7. Karl Lowe,8. Victor Vito,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Charlie Ngatai / Tim Bateman,13. Conrad Smith (c) ,14. Cory Jane,15. Andre Taylor Replacements : 16. Motu Matu’u,17. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen,18. Brad Shields,19. Jack Lam,20. Chris Eaton,21. Tusi Pisi / Daniel Kirkpatrick,22. Tim Bateman / Alapati Leiua  

Highlanders

1 Chris King 2 Andrew Hore (c) 3 Ma'afu Fia 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Jarrad Hoeata 6 Nick Crosswell 7 Adam Thomson 8 Nasi Manu 9 Aaron Smith 10 Mike Delany 11 Hosea Gear 12 Phil Burleigh 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Siale Piutau 15 Ben Smith Replacements : 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Culum Retallick 19 Tim Boys 20 Jimmy Cowan 21 Chris Noakes 22 Kenny Lynn

Highlanders Named To Play Bulls

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Bulls at Forsyth Barr
Stadium in Dunedin tomorrow evening.  He has made four changes to the run-on team that played the
Hurricanes in Dunedin last Saturday night.

Highlanders captain, Jamie Mackintosh comes back into the engine room, and livewire rake Jason Rutledge
will join his skipper in the starting XV in place of Andrew Hore.  Tim Boys will start at openside flanker
shifting with Nick Crosswell to lock and Josh Bekhuis has been bracketed with Hoani MacDonald on the
bench.

Mike Delany will start at pivot this week and Chris Noakes moves back to the reserves.

Scott Fuglistaller joins the Highlanders as permanent cover for John Hardie and makes the 22 this week.

Highlanders v Bulls, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Saturday 19 May, 5.30pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c)
2 Jason Rutledge
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Jarrad Hoeata
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 Tim Boys
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Mike Delany
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Siale Piutau
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Andrew Hore
17 Bronson Murray
18 Hoani/Josh MacDonald/Bekhuis
19 Scott Fuglistaller
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Chris Noakes
22 Kenny Lynn

ONLINE TICKETS ISSUES TODAY

There are issues with internet connectivity today – you cannot purchase tickets for the Highlanders game tonight online or at any retail outlet (including over the phone).  The only ticketing outlet operating is Forsyth Barr Stadium, so you must go to the Stadium to purchase tickets!  Apologies for the inconvenience!

Highlanders Beat Bulls

The Highlanders have come out on top against the top of the table Bulls in Dunedin tonight. It was a cracking game of rugby with both sides scrapping for every meter of ground and minute of possession.  Both teams traded penalties before in the first half, before lock Jarrad Hoeata crashed over for the match winning try for the Highlanders!

Final Score Highlanders 16 (3) Bulls 11 (6).

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - J. Hoeata
Pen - M. Delany 3
Con - M . Delany

Bulls
Tries - W. Wepener
Pen - M. Steyn 2

Match Officials
Referee: Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 1: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO: Matthew Muir

Teams

Highlanders
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Jason Rutledge, 3. Ma'afu Fia, 4. Jarrad Hoeata, 5. Nick Crosswell, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. Tim Boys, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Mike Delany, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Phil Burleigh, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Siale Piutau, 15. Ben Smith.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Hore, 17. Bronson Murray, 18. Hoani MacDonald/Josh Bekhuis, 19. Scott Fuglistaller, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Chris Noakes, 22. Kenny Lynn.

Bulls

15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Pierre Spies (c), 7. CJ Stander, 6. Dewald Potgieter, 5. Juandre Kruger, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Dean Greyling.

Replacements: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Arno Botha, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Louis Fouche, 22. JJ Engelbrecht.

Highlanders Named To Play Blues

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland
tomorrow evening (7.35pm).  He has made five changes to the run-on team that played the Bulls at Forsyth
Barr Stadium last Saturday night.

Two changes have been made to the Highlanders forward pack with Andrew Hore starting at hooker and
Hoani MacDonald coming into the second-row to replace Nick Crosswell who moves to number eight. 
Crosswell replaces Nasi Manu who moves out of the 22 due to injury.

In the backs, Jimmy Cowan starts at halfback and he will link with Chris Noakes at first-five.  Aaron Smith and Mike Delany both move to the reserves bench.  Kurt Baker also comes into the run-on XV and Siale Piutau drops out of the 22 also due to injury.

The match takes on additional significance as both teams are playing for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy – the Highlanders currently hold the Trophy.

Highlanders v Blues, Eden Park, Auckland - Saturday 26 May, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Jarrad Hoeata
5 Hoani MacDonald
6 Adam Thomson
7 Tim Boys
8 Nick Crosswell
9 Jimmy Cowan
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kurt Baker
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Josh Bekhuis
19 Scott Fuglistaller
20 Aaron Smith
21 Mike Delany
22 Kenny Lynn

Highlanders Too Good For Blues

Hosea Gear was rewarded with a call up to the All Blacks training squad after an impressive display against the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland tonight.

The Highlanders scored a couple of long-range five pointers with Gear benefitting on both occasions to give the visitors a four-try bonus point win and retain the Gordy Hunter memorial trophy for the summer.

Gear scored two tries, both laid on by some attacking brilliance from firstly Kurt Baker and then Ben Smith, who both made massive running meters before off-loading to Gear.  Smith and Baker also had good outings on the Eden Park turf – both looking dangerous with ball in hand during the full 80mins.

Adam Thomson and Tamati Ellison also crossed for the men in ‘pink & green’ and although the Blues showed a bit of fight in the second half… it was too little too late!

The Highlanders now have a short turnaround with their next match against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday night.

Final Score Blues 20 (6) Highlanders 27 (15)

Scorers
Blues
Tries - T. Mailau, T Woodcock
Pen - G Anscombe 2
Con - G Anscombe. L Munro

Highlanders
Tries - T. Ellison, H Gear 2, A Thomson
Pen - C Noakes
Con - C Noakes 2

Cards - P Burleigh (yellow 62nd minute)

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:Ben Skeen
TMO : Bryce Lawrence

Teams

Blues

1. Tony Woodcock, 2. James Parsons, 3. Tevita Mailau, 4. Liaki Moli, 5. Filo Paulo, 6. Steven Luatua, 7. Luke Braid (c) / Daniel Braid, 8. Peter Saili / Luke Braid, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 11. Sherwin Stowers, 12. Michael Hobbs, 13. Francis Saili, 14. David Raikuna, 15. Hadleigh Parkes.

Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Angus Ta'avao, 18. Ali Williams, 19. Daniel Braid / Peter Saili / Dan Pryor, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Ma'a Nonu, 22. Lachie Munro.

Highlanders

1 Jamie Mackintosh (c) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Ma'afu Fia 4 Jarrad Hoeata 5 Hoani MacDonald 6 Adam Thomson 7 Tim Boys 8 Nick Crosswell 9 Jimmy Cowan 10 Chris Noakes 11 Hosea Gear 12 Phil Burleigh 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Kurt Baker 15 Ben Smith

Replacements : 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Josh Bekhuis 19 Scott Fuglistaller 20 Aaron Smith 21 Mike Delany 22 Kenny Lynn

Highlanders Named To Play Crusaders

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Crusaders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch
tomorrow evening (7.35pm).  He has made five changes to the run-on team that played the Blues at Eden Park
last Saturday night.

Four changes have been made to the Highlanders forward pack with Chris King returning to the front row
replacing Ma’afu Fia, who drops out of the 22.  Josh Bekhuis and James Haskell also return to the
starting eight replacing Hoani MacDonald and Tim Boys respectively.  Nasi Manu also comes back into
the starting XV at number eight, and Nick Crosswell moves to the reserves bench.

In the backs only one change has been made with Aaron Smith returning to the starting halfback spot ahead of Jimmy Cowan.

On the reserves bench Scott Fuglistaller drops out of the 22 for Tim Boys, and Kade Poki comes back into the squad replacing Kenny Lynn.

Highlanders v Crusaders, AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Friday 1 June, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Jarrad Hoeata
5 Josh Bekhuis
6 Adam Thomson
7 James Haskell
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kurt Baker
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Nick Crosswell
19 Tim Boys
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Mike Delany
22 Kade Poki

Highlanders Lose To Crusaders

The Highlanders lost to the Crusaders tonight in Christchurch 51-18 after making a promising start.  Tamati Ellison crossed for the Highlanders midway through the first half to give the visitors a 13-10 lead, however the Crusaders struck back in quick session before halftime to take a 19 point lead into the break.

Final Score Crusaders 51 (32) Highlanders 18 (13).

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries - G. Whitelock, Z Guildford 2, D. Carter, R McCaw, W Crockett, M. Todd
Pen - D. Carter 2
Con - D. Carter 5
Cards - G Whitelock (Yellow)

Highlanders
Tries - T Ellison, H.Gear
Pen - C. Noakes 2
Con - C Noakes
Cards - J Haskell (Yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Vinny Munro

Teams

Crusaders
1. Wyatt Crockett 2. Corey Flynn 3. Ben Franks 4. Luke Romano 5. Samuel Whitelock 6. George Whitelock 7. Richie McCaw (c) 8. Kieran Read 9. Andy Ellis 10. Dan Carter (vc) 11. Zac Guildford 12. Ryan Crotty 13. Robbie Fruean 14. Adam Whitelock15. Israel Dagg
Reserves :16. Quentin MacDonald,17. Owen Franks,18. Tom Donnelly,19. Matt Todd,20. Willi Heinz,21. Tom Taylor,22. Tom Marshall

Highlanders
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c) 2 Andrew Hore 3 Chris King 4 Jarrad Hoeata 5 Josh Bekhuis 6 Adam Thomson 7 James Haskell 8 Nasi Manu 9 Aaron Smith 10 Chris Noakes 11 Hosea Gear 12 Phil Burleigh 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Kurt Baker 15 Ben Smith
Reserves 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Nick Crosswell 19 Tim Boys 20 Jimmy Cowan 21 Mike Delany 22 Kade Poki

Highlanders Named To Play Chiefs in Dunedin

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in
Dunedin tomorrow evening (7.35pm).  He has made five changes to the run-on team that played the
Crusaders at AMI Stadium a month ago.

Four changes have been made to the Highlanders forward pack with Ma’afu Fia returning to the front row
replacing Chris King, who drops to the reserves.  Jason Rutledge also starts this week with All Black
Andrew Hore joining front row partner King in the reserves. Nick Crosswell starts at lock in place of
Josh Bekhuis who started against the Crusaders. 

The final change in the forwards is Tim Boys who will start at openside flanker ahead of James Haskell.

In the backs only one change has been made with Kade Poki returning to the starting fifteen on the right wing in place of Kurt Baker.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Friday 29 June, 7.35pm.
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c)
2 Jason Rutledge
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Jarrad  Hoeata
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 Tim Boys
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Chris Noakes
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Kade Poki
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Andrew Hore
17 Chris King
18 Josh  Bekhuis
19 James Haskell
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Mike Delany
22 Buxton Popoali’i

Highlanders Lose To Chiefs

The Highlanders gave it their all tonight at Forsyth Barr Stadium, but it wasn’t enough against a Chiefs team that were just too good on the night.  The Highlanders dominated the early exchanges, however a try against the run of play gave the Chiefs the momentum and lead in the match, which the Highlanders could not grab back. 

The Highlanders threw everything at the visitors in the second half, but it wasn’t enough and the Chiefs ran out winners 27-21.  The night was highlighted by a very special moment before the game, when Highlanders fan Jayden Barton was the ball runner and also at the end of the game when Highlanders Captain Jamie Mackintosh took over the MC mic and thanked the 17,000 strong crowd for their loyal support over the season.

Final Score Highlanders 21 (9) Chiefs 27 (18).

Scorers
Highlanders
Tries - A. Hore, H. Gear
Pen - C. Noakes 3
Con - M. Delany

Chiefs
Tries - T. Nanai Williams, R. Robinson
Pen - A. Cruden 5
Con - A. Cruden

Match Officials
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1: Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO: Nick Briant

Teams
Highlanders
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Jason Rutledge, 3. Ma'afu Fia, 4. Jarrad Hoeata, 5. Nick Crosswell, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. Tim Boys, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Chris Noakes, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Phil Burleigh, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Ben Smith.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Hore, 17. Chris King, 18. Josh Bekhuis, 19. James Haskell, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Mike Delany, 22. Buxton Popoali'i.
Chiefs
1. Toby Smith, 2. Mahonri Schwalger, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Craig Clarke (c), 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 8. Kane Thompson, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Willison Jackson, 14. Tim Nanai-Williams, 15. Robbie Robinson.
Replacements: 16. Hika Elliot, 17. Sona Taumalolo, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Andrew Horrell, 22. Lelia Masaga

Highlanders Named To Play Reds

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in
Brisbane tomorrow evening (9.30pm NZT).

Highlanders v Reds, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Friday 6 July, 7.30pm (AUS Time).
1 Jamie Mackintosh (c)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 James Haskell
8 Nasi Manu
9 Jimmy Cowan

10 Mike Delany
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Siale Piutau
14 Kade Poki
15 Ben Smith
 Reserves 
16 Jason Rutledge
17 Chris King
18 Jarrad Hoeata
19 Tim Boys
20 Aaron Smith
21 Chris Noakes
22 Kenny Lynn

Highlanders Lose To Reds

The Highlanders couldn't end their season as they started, and lost to the Reds in Brisbane tonight.  As they have done throughout the season, the Highlanders dominated territory and possession, but could not convent this into match-winning points.  The Highlanders bid farewell to Jimmy Cowan, who brought up his 100th game for the franchise this season. 

Final Score Reds 19 (6) Highlanders 13 (3)

Scorers
Reds
Tries - J Slipper
Pen - M Harris 4
Con - M Harris

Highlanders
Tries - A Thomson, C King
Pen - M Delany

Match Officials
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 1:Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 2:James Leckie
TMO : Steve Lesczcynski

Teams

Reds
1. Greg Holmes,2. Saia Faingaa,3. James Slipper,4. Rob Simmons,5. Adam Wallace-Harrison (vc),6. Jake Schatz,7. Beau Robinson,8. Scott Higginbotham,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Chris F'Sautia,12. Mike Harris,13. Anthony Faingaa,14. Dom Shipperley,15. Luke Morahan
Replacements : 16. James Hanson,17. Ben Daley,18. Radike Samo,19. Jarrad Butler,20. Ben Lucas,21. Ben Tapuai,22. Nick Frisby

Highlanders
15. Ben Smith, 14. Kade Poki, 13. Siali Piutau, 12. Phil Burleigh, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. James Haskell, 6. Adam Thomson, 5. Nick Crosswell, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 3. Ma'afu Fia, 2. Andrew Hore, 1. Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Reserves: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Chris King, 18. Jarrad Hoeata, 19. Tim Boys, 20. Aaron Smith, 21. Chris Noakes, 22. Kenny Lynn.

Jamie Joseph re-signs with Highlanders and NZRU

Jamie Joseph has re-signed as Head Coach of the Highlanders for a further two years, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and the Highlanders franchise announced today.

The 42-year-old former All Black and Otago representative took up his first season with the Highlanders in 2010 following coaching success with the New Zealand Maori and the Wellington Lions.

NZRU General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said Joseph’s re-signing was great news for New Zealand rugby and for the Highlanders.

“Jamie has helped to re-ignite the Highlanders and their supporters and it’s great to see the team doing so well.  This re-signing will be a great anchor for the Highlanders next two campaigns as they look to push for a Finals berth.

“Under Jamie’s watch the Highlanders have experienced some fantastic results and they have delivered some thrilling rugby in Investec Super Rugby,” Sorensen said.

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark said they were excited about the opportunity to continue working with Joseph.

‘Having Jamie re-sign for another two years is a great result for the Highlanders and this will allow the franchise to build on the outstanding progress made since his arrival.  He has added so much value to the team and business over the past two seasons, and he’ll be a central part of our next two seasons.”

Jamie Joseph said with just two seasons he had plenty of unfinished business.

“I have really enjoyed my first two years with the Highlanders and I wanted to commit to the team and franchise as soon as possible.  I have been fortunate to have a great group of committed and hard-working players with me, as well as a supportive coaching and management team, and a very energetic franchise organisation.

“We’ve made some real progress over the last couple of seasons, and I want to remain because I have my sights on a very clear goal – to take the Highlanders to an Investec Super Rugby Final,” he said.

The Highlanders finished eighth in 2010 and currently sitting in ninth in the Super Rugby competition with the team on a bye in the last week of the regular season.  The team has a 9-7 win-loss record this season which includes spectacular early-season wins against the Chiefs, Crusaders and Hurricanes – all New Zealand teams still in contention for a Finals berth.
********

Joseph was Head Coach of the Wellington Lions from 2007 and he took the team to Final berths in 2008 and 2009 and won the Ranfurly Shield from Auckland in 2008 holding it for five defences.  In 2010 coached the Maori team in its centenary year with assistant coach Daryl Gibson leading the team to a clean sweep over the New Zealand Barbarians, Ireland and England in the Sealord New Zealand Maori Centenary Series.

Jamie Joseph’s strong affiliation with the south includes a provincial rugby career for Otago after heading to Otago University in 1989.  He played 68 games for the province as a lock and then a loose forward until 1995.

His All Blacks career spanned 30 matches including 20 Tests from 1992 to 1995 including the 1995 Rugby World Cup.  He also played 10 matches for New Zealand Maori from 1991 to 1994 and later as assistant coach, helped the team to a Churchill Cup victory in 2006, with wins over New South Wales, the USA, Ireland A and Scotland A.  He also has the distinction of playing international rugby for Japan, appearing for the Cherry Blossoms in the 1999 Rugby World Cup

Three former All Blacks to join Highlanders' 2013 coaching and management staff

The Highlanders today named two new Assistant Coaches and a new manager for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season at the southern franchise.

Former All Blacks Scott McLeod, Jon Preston and Graham Purvis will join Head Coach Jamie Joseph - himself a former All Black - over the next few weeks, and begin planning for their 2013 campaign.

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen congratulated the new coaching panel saying that their combined playing and coaching experience would add a fantastic depth to the Highlanders' camp.

"Former players always bring a unique element to their coaching and management styles because they closely understand where players are at.  It just so happens these guys are all former All Blacks -  and it can only be great that the franchise can tap into that experience," he said.

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark was excited by the make-up of the new coaching and management team for the Highlanders' next campaign.

"Having the coaching and management experience of Scott, Jon and Graham will add real value to our team.  Graham has already spent a few days in Dunedin and will start permanently from 10 September.  Both Scott and Jon will link up with the franchise at the beginning of November.

"We made steady gains and built a really strong culture at the Highlanders over the past two seasons with Simon Culhane, Kieran Keane and Leicester Rutledge, and I know that the new guys will build on this over the coming seasons,"  Clark said.

Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph was looking forward to getting underway with his new coaching and management team.

'I am very excited about working with my new team of coaches and manager. These guys have vast amounts of knowledge and experience in dealing with rugby players and teams; Scott with Waikato and Chiefs and Jon with the Wellington Lions and the Hurricanes. They have all played at the top level for the All Blacks, and also had overseas experiences playing rugby in Japan and the United Kingdom. Graham Purvis has held management roles in public companies, so with his rugby experience at both All Black and provincial level he will be a value asset for the team' Commented Joseph.

'They have all decided to move to Dunedin with their families. This suggests their commitment to succeed is high, which it needs to be given the responsibility we have as coaches and manager of the Highlander Rugby Team. I can't wait to get cracking'.

Scott and Jon will join the Highlanders as Joseph's Assistant Coaches.  McLeod has had a successful coaching stint with the Waikato ITM Cup team and the Chiefs franchise  since 2009.  He has a two-year contract with the Highlanders through to the end of the 2014 season.  He played 10 Tests for the All Blacks between 1996 and 1998, he played 49 games for the Chiefs and represented Waikato 69 times.

Jon Preston joins the coaching team and will build on a skills coaching role with the Hurricanes over the past three years.  Preston also joins on a two-year contract.  Preston played for the All Blacks 17 times and played the last of his 10 test matches against England in 1997.  Preston also played for Canterbury and Wellington at provincial level and notched up 25 games for the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby competition.

Graham Purvis has been appointed at the Highlanders team manager, after a successful post-rugby business career.  Purvis played 26 games for the All Blacks including two Tests  between 1989 and 1993, and he also amassed 147 games for Waikato.

All Black Tony Woodcock Signs With The Highlanders

World Cup winning All Black, Tony Woodcock, has today signed with the Highlanders for a two-year period and will join the franchise for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby competition.

31 year old Woodcock was born in Helensville, and made his 1st class debut for North Harbour in 2000. He has played 113 super Rugby games for the Blues and 88 tests for the All Blacks.

Highlanders Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, was excited by the prospect of getting the All Black front-rower into the Highlanders camp.
 
‘Tony is a world-class loosehead prop and his ability and experience will add a huge amount to our squad and leadership. Tony is also a good fit for the Highlanders and I know he is looking forward to moving his family to Dunedin to set-up home in the South’

Highlanders General Manager, Roger Clark, commented that getting the commitment from Tony was exciting for the franchise.

‘Attracting a play of Tony’s calibre endorses the work we are putting in to continually strengthen our team’

Woodcock in currently in camp with the All Blacks in lead-up to the test match against South Africa in Dunedin on Saturday.

Highlanders Play Defending Champions In Opening Round

Super derby action will open all five New Zealand campaigns for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season when it kicks off in February next year.
 
The draw for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season was released by SANZAR today, confirming that the Australian Conference will open the international competition with their own derbies - Rebels v Force in Melbourne (15 February), and Brumbies v Reds in Canberra, on Saturday (16 February).

Four of the five New Zealand franchises get their 2013 campaigns under way in Round 2 starting with the Highlanders who host the 2012 Champions the Chiefs, at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday, 22 February.  In the same round, new Blues Head Coach Sir John Kirwan gets his first Super Rugby campaign under way, with the Blues heading south to tackle the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

The Crusaders have a late start to their season, with their first match in Round 3 against the Blues at the Eden Park fortress, and their first home game will be in Round 5 against the Bulls.

The draw confirms 40 Investec Super Rugby matches on New Zealand soil next year, and 21 New Zealand derbies as well as the three week break in June for the three-Test Steinlager Series against France.

New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew said the support for Investec Super Rugby in 2012 had been very encouraging with many fans getting behind their teams.

“We want to build on the positive response we saw in 2012 to Investec Super Rugby.  It is without doubt the best international provincial competition in the world – with the best rugby players in the world competing.

“With all five New Zealand franchises well into the process of contracting their 2013 squads, we are looking forward to continued stiff competition from the New Zealand teams and hopefully another New Zealand claim to the Investec Super Rugby title honours,” he said.

Highlanders Home Season - 2013
Rd 2 - Highlanders v Chiefs – Friday 22 Feb 735pm at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Rd 4 - Highlanders v Cheetahs – Saturday 9 March 735pm at Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Rd 5 - Highlanders v Hurricanes – Friday 15 March 735pm at Forsyth Bar Stadium (FBS), Dunedin
Rd 7 - Highlanders v Reds – Friday 29 March 735pm at FBS, Dunedin
Rd 9 - Highlanders v Brumbies – Friday 12 April 735pm at FBS, Dunedin
Rd 12 - Highlanders v Sharks – Saturday 4 May 735pm at FBS, Dunedin
Rd 16 - Highlanders v Blues – Saturday 1 June 735pm at FBS, Dunedin
Rd 18 - Highlanders v Crusaders – Saturday 29 June 735pm at FBS, Dunedin

Highlanders Away Season - 2013
Rd 3 - Highlanders Bye
Rd 6 - Chiefs v Highlanders - Friday 22 March 735pm - venue TBC
Rd 8 - Blues v Highlanders - Friday 5 April 735pm - venue TBC
Rd 10 - Crusaders v Highlanders - Saturday 20 April 735pm at AMi Stadium, Christchurch
Rd 11 - Highlanders Bye
Rd 13 - Kings v Highlanders - Saturday 11 May (1.05am NZT) Nelson Mandela Bay STadium, Port Elizabeth
Rd 14 - Bulls v Highlanders - Saturday 18 May (3.05am NZT) Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Rd 15 - Force v Highlaners - Saturday 25 May (740pm NST) NIB Stadium, Perth
Rd 17 - Australian teams only
Rd 19 - Hurricanes v Highlanders - Saturday 6 July 735pm - venue TBC
Rd 20 - Rebels v Highlanders - Friday 12 July (940pm NZT) - AMII Park, Melbourne

Click here to download the full draw

Emery & Coltman Sign With Highlanders

The Highlanders have signed two ‘young guns’ from the domestic rugby competition.  Manawatu centre Jason Emery, and Otago front-rower Liam Coltman, have both signed three-year contracts with the southern franchise.

Coltman, who turns 23 in January, has played 22 ITM Cup matches for Otago over the past three seasons.  He was in the Highlanders’ Wider Training Group in 2012 and was also a key member of the New Zealand Under 20 team that won the world title in 2010. 

“Liam’s form has been impressive in the ITM Cup this season.  We have selected him as a hooker for the Highlanders, but his athletic ability is obvious when he has been playing tight-head prop in the Otago team this season” commented Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph.

Emery is playing in his first ITM Cup season for Manawatu and has been impressive in the Turbo’s mid-field since making his debut earlier this season.  He was part of the New Zealand Under 20 Team that played in World Championship in South Africa earlier this year.

“Jason is a young and talented player and he has a great understanding of the game for a 19 year old.  I know he will be a good fit in the Highlanders squad” added Joseph.

Highlanders General Manager, Roger Clark, commented that both players are stars of the future and important signings for the franchise.

“Both Liam and Jason have been selected with the future in mind.  We are building a squad that has depth across the park, and with both players at the start of their professional careers, we know that they can offer a lot to the team over the coming seasons” commented Clark.

Coltman and Emery are currently playing in the final rounds of the ITM Cup competition and they will join the Highlanders for their pre-season training in December.

Ma'a Nonu announces playing future for 2013

The Highlanders have today confirmed they are in negotiation with All Blacks mid-fielder Ma’a Nonu for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season.

Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph said that a deal with Nonu would be a major boost for the southern franchise, and the region as a whole, ahead of the full franchise squad being confirmed at the end of the month.

“Ma’a has been a standout performer for the All Blacks over his playing career and he would bring some great playing form to our squad next season.  He has a lot of big match experience at international level and we know that we would benefit from that,” Joseph said.

“Ma’a has indicated he sees many advantages for him and his family in being part of the Highlanders environment and we would welcome that.  We’re very proud of the support we give to the families of our players, and the support we get in return is a vital part of the strong family-focus we have within the Highlanders,” he added.

Nonu has played 71 tests for the All Blacks since his debut in 2003 against England in Wellington.  He has also had a stellar Super Rugby career for both the Hurricanes and Blues playing a total 124 games.  His move south will add to this impressive playing record at Super level.

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark commented that signing Nonu would be considered a real coup for the franchise.

“Ma’a is a world-class player who would add real excitement to the Highlanders in 2013.  It’s testament to the work the coaching and management team have put in both on and off the field that a player like Ma’a has decided he’d like to join us.”

Subject to contract negotiations being finalised, Nonu will join the Highlanders for pre-season training early in the New Year following his All Blacks commitments for the Air New Zealand European Tour.

Brad Thorn Signs With Highlanders

The Highlanders confirmed today that former All Black legend Brad Thorn has signed a one-year contract to play with the southern franchise for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season.

Thorn was part of the 2011 Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks and has been playing for Fukuoka Sanix Blues in Japan’s Top League. He will join the Highlanders early in the new year to begin preparation for the coming season.

Thorn has a decorated professional sporting career, including success in the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos and Queensland, Super Rugby with the Crusaders and more recently with Irish-based rugby club Leicester who lifted the Heineken Cup in the European league.

Thorn made his test debut for the All Blacks in 2003 against Wales in Hamilton. He played 59 test matches in total, including his last test which was against France in the Rugby World Cup final last year.  

Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph, who recently returned from a visit to Japan, believes the inclusion of Thorn in the Highlanders squad will be invaluable for the 2013 campaign.

“Brad brings a great deal of professionalism to any team he plays for. His work ethic, experience and leadership will add a great deal to our team and have a very positive influence on the younger players” commented Joseph.

“Brad is a very competitive athlete and from what I saw in Japan recently he is still playing rugby at an International standard”.

“We talk a lot about the culture at the Highlanders and Brad is a perfect fit, both on and off the field” added Joseph.

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark commented that securing a player like Brad Thorn was great for the team, but also the franchise region as a whole.

“Brad started his rugby career in Mosgiel and he still has family in the region.  A player of his calibre returning to offer something back to the region shows the kind of player and person he is.  It’s also a reflection of the progress the franchise has made over the past couple of years” commented Clark.

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said:

“This is exciting news for Highlanders fans and for rugby fans.  Brad is an incredible athlete and professional who commands a lot of respect on and off the field because of his attitude and work rate. We’re rapt to have Brad, Mary-Anne and the family back in New Zealand and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action in the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season.”

The First Samurai - Fumiaki Tanaka

Japan's Fumiaki Tanaka is set to become the first player from his country to compete in the Super Rugby competition next season when he turns out for the Highlanders.

Tanaka's Panasonic Wild Knights club said yesterday the 27-year-old halfback would be joining the New Zealand team in 2013.

"I feel so honoured to be becoming Japan's first Super Rugby player," said Tanaka, who impressed for Otago in the just-ended ITM Cup campaign.

"I hope to improve at the higher levels of rugby and bring those skills back to Panasonic.

"I want to play as many games as possible and show the world what Japanese rugby players are capable of. I want to believe there's nothing I can't accomplish."

Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph commented that Tanaka has played very well in the ITM Cup for Otago and he is a good fit for the Highlanders.

"Fumiaki is a very skilful player and his form this season for Otago has been very good.  He is the type of player that will fit well with our game-plan for next season" commented Joseph

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark was pleased with the inclusion of Tanaka in the Highlanders 2013 Squad.

"We've got a well-rounded squad for next season and with the final squad announcement on Wednesday, it's great to get a talented player like Fumiaki signed" commented Clark .

Fumiaki Tanaka will join the Highlanders in the New Year following the conclusion of the Japanese Top League. 

 

Highlanders 2013 Squad

The Highlanders squad has a number of new faces and this will make for a very exciting season in 2013.

The forward pack will be bolstered by the experience of Brad Thorn and Tony Woodcock who have played a combined total of 151 tests for the All Blacks and 205 Super Rugby matches.  Also joining the big men up front is Liam Coltman, Brayden Mitchell, Joe Wheeler and Jake Paringatai.  Coltman has impressed in the ITM Cup for Otago at both Hooker and Prop, while Wheeler has had a strong season for Tasman.  Mitchell has also impressed for Southland and has been a part of the Highlanders Wider Training Group over the last couple of seasons.  Paringatai had a taste of Super Rugby with the Crusaders in 2007, and is making his way back to Super Rugby with the Highlanders from Japan.

The back division includes marquee signing Ma’a Nonu from the Blues.  Nonu will join a backline that includes All Blacks Aaron Smith, Tamati Ellison, Hosea Gear, Colin Slade and Ben Smith.  Other new faces include; Jason Emery, Declan O’Donnell, Hayden Parker, Buxton Popoali’i and Fumiaki Tanaka.

Emery is in his first season of ITM Cup for Manawatu and will bring plenty of enthusiasm to the Highlanders squad.  O’Donnell joins the squad from the Chiefs and has power and speed to burn.  Otago has three new-comers in the backs; Hayden Parker, Buxton Popoali’i and Fumiaki Tanaka.  All three have impressed during the ITM Cup for the Razorbacks who made the final against Counties.

Highlanders 2013 Squad
Forwards
Josh Bekhuis (Lock)
Tim Boys (Loose forward)
Liam Coltman (Hooker)
Elliot Dixon (Loose forward)
Ma’afu Fia (Prop)
John Hardie (Flanker)
Jarrad Hoeata (Loose forward)
Andrew Hore (Hooker)
Chris King (Prop)
Jamie Mackintosh (Prop)
Nasi Manu (Loose forward)
Brayden Mitchell (Hooker)
Jake Paringatai (Loose forward)
Brad Thorn (Legend)
Joe Wheeler (Lock/ loose forward)
Tony Woodcock (Prop)


Backs
Phil Burleigh (Midfield back)
Tamati Ellison (Midfield back)
Jason Emery (Midfield back)
Hosea Gear (Wing)
Ma’a Nonu (Midfield back)
Declan O’Donnell (Wing)
Kade Poki (Wing)
Hayden Parker (First five-eight)
Buxton Popoali'i (Wing/Fullback)
Colin Slade (First five-eighth)
Aaron Smith (Halfback)
Ben Smith (Wing/Fullback)
Lima Sopoaga (First five-eighth)
Fumiaki Tanaka (Halfback)
Shaun Treeby (Midfield back)

The Highlanders start the 2013 Investec Super Rugby competition against the defending champion Chiefs on February 22 in Dunedin.  Their pre-season includes games against the Chiefs on 2 February in Taupo, Crusaders in Oamaru on 8 February and Blues in Queenstown on 15 February.

For The Record

Highlanders Leading scorers

Career

PointsPlayer
942Tony Brown
262Lima Sopoaga
222Jeff Wilson
214Ben Blair
212Simon Culhane
203Willie Walker
182Colin Slade
170Nick Evans
133Israel Dagg
105Mike Delany
105Adam Thomson
105Ben Smith

Season

PointsPlayer
178Lima Sopoaga (2014)
150Tony Brown (2000)
142Willie Walker (2003)
141Tony Brown (2002)
131Colin Slade (2013)
122Tony Brown (2001)
111Israel Dagg (2010)
108Tony Brown (1999)
107Ben Blair (2005, 2006)
104Tony Brown (2004)
101Colin Slade (2012)
91Simon Culhane (1998)

Game

PointsPlayer
28Ben Blair (Sharks, 2005)
26Simon Culhane (Reds, 1998)
25Lima Sopoaga (Hurricanes, 2014)
24Willie Walker (Chiefs, 2003)
 Israel Dagg (Lions, 2010)
22Brendan Laney (Bulls, 2001)
20Tony Brown (Bulls, 1999)
 Tony Brown (Reds, 2000)
 Tony Brown (Sharks, 2002)
 Tony Brown (Brumbies, 2002)
 Willie Walker (Reds, 2002)
 Mike Delany (Blues, 2012)

Most points for in a season

PointsSeason
4252014 (17 matches including play-off)
3741998 (12 matches including semifinal)
 2013 (16 matches)
3592012 (14 matches)
3522002 (12 matches including semifinal)
3352000 (12 matches including semifinal)
3321999 (13 matches including final)
3291996 (11 matches)

Least points for in a season

PointsSeason
2212005 (11 matches)
2282006 (13 matches)
2352007 (13 matches)

Most points against in a season

PointsSeason
4962013 (16 matches)
4732014 (17 matches including play-off)
4091997 (11 matches)
3972010 (13 matches)
3911996 (11 matches)

Least points against in a season

PointsSeason
2142005 (11 matches)
2412002 (12 matches)
2451999 (13 matches)

Most tries

Career

TriesPlayer
35Jeff Wilson
21Adam Thomson
19Romi Ropati
18Ben Smith
16Byron Kelleher, Aisea Tuilevu
14Isitolo Maka
13Brian Lima, Fet’u Vainikolo, Hosea Gear
12Pita Alatini, Kade Poki
10Jimmy Cowan, Anton Oliver, Matt Saunders

Season

TriesPlayer
10Jeff Wilson (1998)
8Aisea Tuilevu (2001)
 Hosea Gear (2013)
7Brian Lima (1999)
 Ryan Nicholas (2002)
 Malakai Fekitoa (2014)
6Brian Lima (1996)
 Jeff Wilson (1996)
 Isitolo Maka (1998 and 1999)
 Byron Kelleher (1999)
 Romi Ropati (1999)
 Fet’u Vainikolo (2008)
 Adam Thomson (2011 and 2012)

Game

TriesPlayer
3Too Vaega (Western Province, 1996)
 Doug Howlett (Chiefs, 1997)
 Jeff Wilson (Western Stormers, 1998)
 Jeremy Stanley (Western Stormers, 1998)
 Ryan Nicholas (Bulls, 2002)
 Ben Blair (Sharks, 2005)
 Israel Dagg (Bulls, 2010)
 Adam Thomson (Rebels, 2012)
 Kade Poki (Cheetahs, 2013)

Most tries in a season - team

TriesSeason
422014
401998
 2013
391996
391999
362002
 2004
 2012

Least tries in a season

TriesSeason
212005
 2006
242007
272003

Most tries in a match

TriesAgainst
9Bulls, 1999
8Western Province, 1996
 Cats, 1998
 Stormers, 1998
 Bulls, 2002
7Brumbies, 2003
 Rebels, 2012

Tryless in a match

19 occasions

Most penalty goals

Career

PenaltiesPlayer
180Tony Brown
54Simon Culhane
47Ben Blair
42Willie Walker
40Lima Sopoaga
28Nick Evans

Season

PenaltiesPlayer
35Lima Sopoaga (2014)
34Tony Brown (2000)
33Tony Brown (2002)
32Willie Walker (2003)
29Tony Brown (2001)
27Ben Blair (2006)
23Simon Culhane (1998)
21Tony Brown (1999)
19Simon Culhane (1997)
20Tony Brown (2004), Ben Blair (2005)

Game

PenaltiesPlayer
8Willie Walker (Chiefs, 2003)
7Simon Culhane (Reds, 1998)
6Simon Culhane (Free State, 1997)
 Tony Brown (Stormers, 2002)
 Tony Brown (Brumbies, 2002)
 Willie Walker (Reds, 2002)
 Tony Brown (Waratahs, 2003)
 Israel Dagg (Lions, 2010)
5Simon Culhane (Northern Transvaal, 1997)
 Tony Brown (Crusaders, 1997)

Most conversions

Career

ConversionsPlayer
137Tony Brown
36Lima Sopoaga
29Ben Blair
21Willie Walker
18Simon Culhane, Israel Dagg
16Nick Evans

Season

ConversionsPlayer
27Lima Sopoaga (2014)
22Tony Brown (2004)
21Tony Brown (1999)
20Tony Brown (1998 and 2000)
18Willie Walker (2003)
17Tony Brown (2002)
16Tony Brown (2001)
 Ben Blair (2005)
 Israel Dagg (2010)
14Tony Brown (1997)
 Chris Noakes (2012)

Game

ConversionsPlayer
7Tony Brown (Bulls, 1999)
6Jeff Wilson (Western Province, 1996)
5Tony Brown (Natal, 1997)
 Tony Brown (Sharks, 1998)
 Willie Walker (Brumbies, 2003)
 Ben Blair (Sharks, 2005)

Most dropped goals

Career

DropgoalsPlayer
6Tony Brown
3Simon Culhane, Nick Evans, Brendan Laney

Season

DropgoalsPlayer
2Simon Culhane (1996)
 Brendan Laney (1999)
 Nick Evans (2005)
 Hayden Parker (2014)

Game

No player has scored more than one.

Biggest winning margins

PointsAgainst
42Bulls (65-23, Invercargill, 1999)
40Reds (57-17, Dunedin, 1996)
 Sharks (45-5, Dunedin, 2002)
37Reds (50-13, Dunedin, 2000)
 Bulls ( 54-17, Pretoria, 2002)
36Sharks (43-7, Durban, 2005)
30Cats (57-27, Invercargill, 1998)

Most points in a match

PointsAgainst
65Bulls (Invercargill, 1999)
57Reds (Dunedin, 1996)
 Cats (Invercargill, 1998)
54Bulls (Pretoria, 2002)
52Western Province (Cape Town, 1996)
50Reds (Dunedin, 2000)
49Hurricanes (Wellington, 2013)
46Stormers (Dunedin, 1999)
45Sharks (Dunedin, 2002)
 Brumbies (Dunedin, 2003)

Most points against

PointsAgainst
75Natal (Durban, 1997)
70Brumbies (Canberra, 1996)
60Hurricanes (Wellington, 1997)
59Northern Transvaal (Pretoria, 1996)
56Cats (Johannesburg, 2001)
51Blues (Pukekohe, 1996)
 Crusaders (Christchurch, 2012)
50Chiefs (Rotorua, 2001)
 Brumbies (Canberra, 2004)
 Blues (Auckland, 2004)
 Bulls (Pretoria, 2010)

Heaviest defeats (by differential)

PointsAgainst
44Brumbies (26-70, 1996)
35Cats (21-56, 2001)
 Crusaders (3-38, 2007)
33Stormers (0-33, 2010)
 Crusaders (18-51, 2012)
32Natal (43-75, 1997)
 Brumbies (18-50, 2004)
31Chiefs (19-50, 2001)
 Crusaders (13-44, 2011)
30Northern Transvaal (29-59, 1996)
 Bulls (17-47, 2008)

Failed to score:

Once: Stormers (0-33, 2010)

Highlanders to have played for New Zealand

NameHighlanderNZ
Pita Alatini1998-20001999-2001
Stephen Bachop19961992-94
Ben Blair2005-062001-02
Tony Brown1996-2004, 20111999-2001
Eroni Clarke20011992-93, 1998
Matthew Cooper19961987,92-94,96
Jimmy Cowan2003-122004-06, 08-11
Simon Culhane1996-991995-96
Israel Dagg2009-102010-12
Mike Delany2008, 20122009
Clarke Dermody2004-072006
Tom Donnelly2004-112009-10
Rhys Duggan19981999
Marc Ellis20001992-93,95
Tamati Ellison2012-132009, 12
Nick Evans2004-072004-07
Malakai Fekitoa2014-Current2014-Current
Stu Forster1996-971993-95
Hosea Gear20122008-12
Rico Gear20002004-07
Steve Gordon19961989-91, 93
Sam Harding2002-042002
Carl Hayman1999-20072001-02,04-07
Paul Henderson19961989-93,95
Jarrod Hoeata2011-142011
Carl Hoeft1997-20051998-2001,03
Andrew Hore2012-132002,04-13
Doug Howlett19972000-07
Richard Kahui20062008,10-11
Byron Kelleher1998-20031999-2007
Josh Kronfeld1996-20001995-2000
Danny Lee2003,052002
Isitolo Maka1996-991998
Simon Maling1997-20042001-02,04
Joe McDonnell1999-2000,02-032002
Jamie Mackintosh2007-132008
Kees Meeuws1997-20011998-2004
Paul Miller2000,02,052001
Craig Newby2002,04-082004,06
Anton Oliver1996-20071996-2007
Taine Randell1996-20031995-2002
Isaac Ross20082009
James Ryan2005-072005-06
Colin Slade2011-132010-11, 14
Aaron Smith2011-Current2012-Current
Ben Smith2009-Current2009, 11-Current
Jeremy Stanley1998-991997
Paul Steinmetz2002-032002
Adam Thomson2006,08-122008-12
Anthony Tuitavake20052008
Kupu Vanisi1996-981999
Tom Willis2000-032001-02
Jeff Wilson1996-20021993-99,2001

Total 53, of whom 29 were playing for Highlanders when first chosen for New Zealand. The others had either played for New Zealand before becoming a Highlander or after their Highlanders stints.

Highlanders Season Tickets Go On Public Sale

Highlanders’ season tickets have gone on public sale this week, after a strong preferential sales period amongst existing season ticket holders and match-day ticket purchasers. 

Existing season ticket holders were given the opportunity to renew their seats for the 2013 season at an early bird discount of 30% and they were also given the opportunity to sign-up a mate for the same discount.  The response has been outstanding with the 2012 total of 3,197 already passed. The total has reached 3,323 before seats have been offered for public sale.

Forsyth Barr Stadium has just under 3,000 members on its books, so the total now stands at over 6,000 which is well on the way to the overall target of 10,000. 

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark was very encouraged by sales to date and felt the decision to go to market early has been the right one.

‘It’s a great result to have such a high retention rate from last season, with around 95% of existing season ticket holders renewing their seats.  It’s pleasing to see that these ticket holders are also recommending mates sign-up for the 2013 season, which is a very positive reflection of the match-day experience we are creating’ commented Clark

‘We made a bold decision to go to market in August, which is the earliest we have ever gone before, but with an early bird discount on offer and the opportunity to pay by instalment, we feel the decision has been the right one’ added Clark.

Season tickets reached a low of 859 in 2009, but with a number of factors making the offer more attractive, the growth has been remarkable to reach 6,000-plus overall.

‘The new stadium has been an important factor in the growth, however we’ve worked hard to offer a really good price point over the past couple of seasons, which has also been important to our fans.  Our coach Jamie Joseph, and the development of our team over the past two years has also been a big part of the interest in the offer’ Clark said.

Highlanders season tickets are the cheapest in the country, with the seven-game silver seat only $175 or $3.37 per week.

Season tickets can be purchased by visiting www.ticketdirect.co.nz or contacting the Highlanders office on 479 9280.

Highlanders Wider Training Group Confirmed

The Highlanders have today confirmed their wider training group for the 2013 season.  Tony Ensor (Otago), Hugh Blake (Otago), Doug Tietjens (Manawatu), Bronson Murray (Northland) and Frae Wilson (Wellington) will all join the Highlanders next week for pre-season training in Dunedin.

Bronson Murray - Bronson gained a first call-up to Super Rugby in 2008 with the Blues and moved to the Crusaders the following year.  In 2010 Bronson joined the Highlanders, where he had a standout season in the front row.  A rugged prop, Murray has a superb scrumming technique and he was rewarded with selection in the Maori All Blacks in 2012.

Doug Tietjens - Doug joined the Highlanders for the first time in 2012.  He is a current Manawatu player who impressed Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph during the 2011 ITM Cup competition.  Born in Australia, Tietjens has played 45 first class games for Manawatu and he will be looking to establish himself in the starting XV of the Highlanders in 2013.

Frae Wilson - Frae is a newcomer to the Highlanders in 2013 after making his debut for the Wellington Lions at ITM Cup level in 2011.  Frae had a stellar season behind the Lions pack this year and he was duly selected in the Maori All Blacks European Tour in 2012.

Tony Ensor - Tony joins the Highlanders for the first time in 2013 after an excellent season for the Otago Razorbacks in the 2012 ITM Cup.  Tony is a versatile player who can cover fullback and wing. He has a habit of finding the try line and crossed for six tries in 2012.

Hugh Blake - Hugh made his provincial debut in 2012 for Otago in the ITM Cup and his impressive form earned selection in the Highlanders for the 2013 Season.  Huge was also part of the New Zealand Under 20 team that finished as runner-up to South Africa in the IRB World Championship in 2012.

Highlanders Post Profit

The Highlanders have today announced a profit of $71,000 for the financial year ended 31 August 2012. 

Highlanders Chairman Ross Laidlaw commented ‘our year end result is a very positive outcome for the Highlanders.  The separation from the Otago Rugby Football Union in 2010, and the work done over the past two years by the board, staff, management and players has been significant and this positive result was expected.  We are now on track to deliver under our independent business model’.

Commercially, the surplus has been generated by strong crowds (on average 17, 000 per home match), increased corporate support from the business community, a credible team and a new stadium.

‘The commercial and public support from the community has been an important factor in our profitable result this year, and I would like to thank our commercial partners and the rugby public for getting in behind our team’ added Laidlaw.

‘The result is further pleasing, as we have made a significant investment in a management structure and team, thereby positioning the team as title contenders’.

‘The Board is confident this result, and the turnaround of the franchise, is the beginning of a bright future for the Highlanders based in Dunedin. There is still a good deal of hard work required, however, we believe the Highlanders have a sustainable business model based out of Forsyth Barr Stadium’ commented Laidlaw.

The Highlanders conclude their pre-season training for the year tomorrow in Dunedin.  They return on Monday 7 January to continue preparations for the 2013 Investec Super rugby competition.  The first Dunedin home game is on Friday 22 February 2013 at Forsyth Barr Stadium against the 2012 defending champions the Chiefs.

.

Highlanders Named To Play Chiefs In Taupo

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his starting XV to play the Chiefs at Owen Delany
Park in Taupo tomorrow afternoon (3.00pm NZT). 

Three players will pull on the Highlanders jersey for the first time; Brad Thorn, Joe Wheeler
and Frae Wilson will start the match.  Thorn returns to Super Rugby after a season in
Japan, while Wheeler made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2011 before
joining the Southern franchise this season.  Wilson, who played for the All Black Maori Team
on its tour to the UK late last year, also runs out for the first time in the Highlanders strip.

As is usual with pre-season games, the majority of the Highlanders squad will travel to Taupo for the match.  There are a number of new faces among the reserves.  In the forwards Hugh Blake will travel with the team; additionally Paul Grant, Tom Frankin and Sam Prattley are all players who have been called into the squad as injury cover.  In the backs, new players are the Otago trio of Tony Ensor, Hayden Parker and Fumiaki Tanaka, and they are joined by Trent Renata and Jason Emery.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Owen Delany Park, Taupo – Saturday 2 February, 3.00pm (NZ Time).
1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Liam Coltman
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Brad Thorn
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. Tim Boys
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Frae Wilson
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Hosea Gear (c)
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Phil Burleigh
14. Buxton Popoalii
15. Ben Smith

Reserves
Backs: Jason Emery, Tony Ensor, Kade Poki, Hayden Parker, Trent Renata, Aaron Smith & Fumiaki Tanaka.
Forwards: Josh Bekhuis, Hugh Blake, Tom Franklin, Paul Grant, Brayden Mitchell, Bronson Murray & Sam Prattley.

Highlanders Lose To Chiefs

Match report By Aaron Goile [abridged version]

On the back of some solid set piece work and some slick back play the Chiefs put on five tries and won the match 36–14 in hot and sunny conditions at Owen Delany Park.

The Chiefs gave All Blacks Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane a run in the last 10 minutes of the match, while Aaron Cruden and Tawera Kerr-Barlow featured nearer the end, with Liam Messam not used.

Meanwhile, the Highlanders side featured three players from the end of year tour – Hosea Gear, who was captain, as well as Ben Smith and Aaron Smith, though the latter spent the entire match on the bench.

Fellow prominent All Blacks Tony Woodcock and Ma’a Nonu weren’t taken to Taupo, while Tamati Ellison was missing as he’s recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and regular skipper Andrew Hore is serving a suspension.

Brad Thorn made his return to New Zealand rugby after his time with the Fukuoka Sanix Blues in Japan and Leinster in Ireland, and got through a solid half of work.

However, the Chiefs were able to dominate proceedings, having the better of possession and territory throughout and taking the majority of their chances.

The only points of the first 20-minute quarter came right on the quarter break when Chiefs fullback Tim Nanai-Williams was put through a yawning gap, showing great pace and a nice swerve before unloading to first-five eighth Gareth Anscombe to dot down.

Anscombe, in his first outing for the Chiefs after being unwanted at the Blues, converted to give the hosts a 7-0 lead at the break.

The Chiefs opened the scoring in the second spell, with a couple of penalties gifting them good field position, before winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma showed strength to muscle over down the blind side.

Just three minutes later the Highlanders opened their account through a fantastic try, finished by Gear, following some beautiful quick hands which stretched the Chiefs’ defence on the left.

The home side hit back when halfback Augustine Pulu took a quick tap from a five-metre scrum free kick and caught the Highlanders’ defence napping.

Despite having prop Ben Afeaki come from the field with a knee complaint, the Chiefs had the better of the remainder of the second quarter, and Anscombe added a penalty before halftime to give his side a 22-7 buffer.

Both teams made wholesale changes at halftime and just three minutes into the third stanza the Chiefs extended their lead, when No 8 Fritz Lee scored off the back of a powerful surge by the pack.

Anscombe added the extras to make it 29-7 and that’s the way it stayed till the three-quarter break after some solid defence from the Highlanders prevented the hosts from adding to their tally.

The visitors spent plenty of time in the Chiefs’ half in the final quarter but some impressive defence from the hosts kept their line intact.

A blistering break from Tikoirotuma set up Anscombe for his double and he converted to finish with a haul of 21 points, before the Highlanders scored in the corner right on fulltime through Tony Ensor.


Chiefs 36 (Gareth Anscombe (2), Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Augustine Pulu, Fritz Lee tries; Gareth Anscombe 4 con, pen

Highlanders 14 (Hosea Gear, Tony Ensor tries; Lima Sopoaga 2 con)

Highlanders Starting XV Named To Play The Crusaders in Oamaru

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his starting XV to play the Crusaders at Whitestone
Contracting Stadium in Oamaru tomorrow afternoon (4.30pm NZT). 

This is the second pre-season game for both New Zealand franchises.

There are a number of changes from the team that played the Chiefs in Taupo last weekend;
All Blacks Tony Woodcock, Ma’a Nonu and Aaron Smith join the starting XV.

In the forwards, Brayden Mitchell will start at hooker and Jarrad Hoeata moves to lock alongside
Brad Thorn and Joe Wheeler switches from lock to blindside flanker.   John Hardie also makes a return to rugby after a long injury break.

In the backs Aaron Smith, Ma’a Nonu & Kade Poki will all make a start for the Highlanders for first time in 2013.

Highlanders v Crusaders, Whitestone Contracting Stadium, Oamaru – Friday 8 February, 4.30pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Brayden Mitchell
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Brad Thorn
5. Jarrad Hoeata
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Hosea Gear (c)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Phil Burleigh
14. Kade Poki
15. Buxton Popoalii

Reserves
Backs: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker, Fumiaki Tanaka, Shaun Treeby & Frae Wilson.
Forwards: Hugh Blake, Liam Coltman, Tom Franklin, Paul Grant, Jamie Mackintosh & Bronson Murray.

.

Highlanders Beat Crusaders

By Steve Hepburn (Rugby Writer at the ODT) on Sat, 9 Feb 2013

More of this and they will be hanging from the rafters at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The Highlanders had an impressive 38-21 victory over the Crusaders in Oamaru last night, showing they are running nicely along as the season looms.

The home team scored six tries to three and ran away with the game in the second half.

The Crusaders did not help themselves by making wholesale changes at the break but never really fired a shot in the second 40 minutes.

The Highlanders on the other hand looked dangerous on the counterattack and the home side's backs were able to bust the line numerous times.

Much has been written about him in the past six months and what he is doing in the Super 15 but if he repeats what he did last night for the rest of the season then it will be all positive for Ma'a Nonu.

Tony Woodcock got through a solid 50 minutes and Brad Thorn was all over the park,John Hardie worked hard in the 50 minutes he had on the field.

Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod said the performance was a step up from last week, when the side had lost to the Chiefs.

''We tided it up in some things during the week and got a little bit more clarity in what we were trying to do,'' McLeod said.

''Ma'a should be reasonably happy in what he did, and running with the ball. There was a little bit of rustiness there in his lines and his tackles but he showed some real enthusiasm and that rubbed off on the other players.''

McLeod said the side also showed more passion at the breakdown.

''We were reading that a bit quicker and when to really go in and attack the ball and then when not to.''

McLeod had praise for the inside backs with Lima Sopoaga tidying up his game and attacking the line well.

Hayden Parker came on for Sopoaga early in the second half and also played well, managing to score two tries, one a nice run through a broken Crusaders defence.

McLeod said in some areas they were looking good two weeks out from the start of the competition but there were still plenty of things to work on.

The lineout was wonky and the scrum was untidy at times. The counterattacking options could have been better, McLeod said.

No major injuries were recorded which was one good thing. Jarrad Hoeata left the field early but it was just a stinger to his chest area.

The Highlanders started well, Nonu smashing his way over after 10 minutes and Buxton Popoali'i added another five minutes later after a nice ball from Sopoaga.

The Crusaders came back but attacking on the line near halftime the Highlanders stole the ball and proceeded to win a kick and chase with Hosea Gear ending up scoring.

The Crusaders scored a late try to make the scoreline a bit more respectable.

Highlanders v Crusaders
The scores
Highlanders 38
Hayden Parker 2, Ma'a Nonu, Buxton Popoali'i, Hosea Gear, Lima Sopoaga tries, Sopoaga 2 con, Parker 2 con

Crusaders 21
Luke Romano 2 tries, Kieran Fonotia try, Tom Taylor 2 con, Tyler Bleyendal con

Halftime: 19-14.
Crowd: 5000

Highlanders XV Named To Play Blues

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his starting XV to play the Blues at the Recreation
Ground in Queenstown tomorrow afternoon (5.30pm NZT). 

This is the third pre-season game for both New Zealand franchises.

There are a number of changes from the team that played the Crusaders in Oamaru last Friday;
Nasi Manu, Josh Bekhuis and Hayden Parker join the starting XV.

In the forwards, Jarrad Hoeata moves to loose-head lock and Josh Bekhuis joins him as locking partner.
Nasi Manu makes a return from injury and replaces Elliot Dixon at number 8.

In the backs the only change from the starting seven that beat the Crusaders is Hayden Parker at first five eighth.

Highlanders v Blues, Recreation Ground, Queenstown – Friday 15 February, 5.30pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Breayden Mitchell
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Jarrad Hoeata
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Nasi Manu
9. Aaron Smith
10. Hayden Parker
11. Hosea Gear (c)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Phil Burleigh
14. Kade Poki
15. Buxton Popoalii

Reserves
Backs: Jason Emery, Fumiaki Tanaka, Shaun Treeby, Trent Renata & Frae Wilson.
Forwards: Hugh Blake, Tim Boys, Liam Coltman, Tom Franklin, Paul Grant, Chris King, Jamie Mackintosh & Bronson Murray.

Highlanders Lose To Blues

By Steve Hepburn, Rugby Writer for the ODT

[abridged]

A typical pre-season match in other words as both sides looked to perfect combinations with the second starting off proper next week.

The Blues led 28-19 at the break, and clinched the match with a penalty goal by Baden Kerr in the final minute.

The Highlanders set piece was wonky all game and it failed to put much together in the way of continuity.

The Blues burst out of the blocks but faded as the game went on as their key players left the field.

The home side failed to finish off at times although its skipper Hosea Gear could not be faulted as he grabbed a hat trick of tries.

Gear, skippering the side in the absence of Andrew Hore, looked dangerous while inside him Ma'a Nonu was his usual hard running self.

Piri Weepu looked good for the Blues on his time on the field while No 8 Peter Saili got through plenty of work.

Blues 31 (Culum Retallick, George Moala, Tom McCartney, Piri Weepu tries, Weepu 4 con; Baden Kerr pen) Highlanders 29 (Hosea Gear 3, Jarrad Hoeata, Joe Wheeler tries; Hayden Parker 2 con)

Halftime: 28-19 Blues

Highlanders Named To Play Chiefs In Opener

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr
Stadium in Dunedin tomorrow night (7.35pm NZT). 

This is the opening  game of the 2013 Investec Super Rugby competition for both New Zealand franchises.

Three players will make their first run-on start for the Highlanders; Tony Woodcock, Joe Wheeler
and Ma’a Nonu will all pull on the Highlanders jersey for the first time.

In the reserves Liam Coltman, Fumiaki Tanaka and Hayden Parker will all make their debut if they
cut the white chalk.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 22 February, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Brayden Mitchell
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Jarrad Hoeata (vc)
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Nasi Manu
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Hosea Gear (c)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Phil Burleigh
14. Kade Poki
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Bronson Murray
18. Elliot Dixon
19. Tim Boys
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Hayden Parker
22. Buxton Popoalii

Highlanders Lose Opener

The Highlanders went down to the defending champions tonight in front of 17,500 of the southern faithful.  The match was full of energy with both teams giving the ball plenty of air, with the Chiefs run out eventual winners 41-27.

Scorers: Chiefs 41 (Tim Nanai-Williams 2, Patrick Osborne, Asaeli Tikoirotuma tries; Gareth Anscombe 3 conversions, 5 penalties), Highlanders 27 (Ben Smith, Hosea Gear, Kade Poki tries; Lima Sopoaga 3 conversions, 2 penalties). HT: 16-14.

Highlanders: 1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Brayden Mitchell, 3. Ma’afu Fia, 4. Jarrad Hoeata (vc), 5. Josh Bekhuis, 6. Joe Wheeler, 7. John Hardie, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 11. Hosea Gear (c), 12. Ma’a Nonu, 13. Phil Burleigh, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Ben Smith
Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Bronson Murray, 18. Elliot Dixon, 19. Tim Boys, 20. Fumiaki Tanaka, 21. Hayden Parker, 22. Buxton Popoalii

Chiefs: 1. Pauliasi Manu, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Afeaki, 4. Craig Clarke, 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Sam Cane, 8. Fritz Lee, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Bundee Aki, 13. Tim Nanai-Williams, 14. Patrick Osborne, 15. Gareth Anscombe
Reserves: 16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Ben Tameifuna, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Tanerau Latimer, 20. Augustine Pulu, 21. Charlie Ngatai, 22. Lelia Masaga

Highlanders Named To Play Cheetahs in Invercargill

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Cheetahs at Rugby Park
Stadium in Invercargill on Saturday night (7.35pm NZT). 

In the forwards, Andrew Hore returns to the Highlanders after missing the first Highlanders
match of the 2013 season due to suspension.  He will be joined by Highlanders debutants
Brad Thorn and Jake Paringatai who both make their first start on Saturday for the
Southern franchise.

Changes in the run-on XV also see a number of changes on the reserves bench. Brayden Mitchell
and Jarrod Hoeata drop out of the starting XV and are joined by Chris King and Colin Slade;
who are both returning from injuries.  Shaun Treeby also joins the reserves in place of Buxton Popoalii.

Highlanders v Cheetahs, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill – Saturday 9 March, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore (Captain)
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Jake Paringatai
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Phil Burleigh
14. Kade Poki
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Brayden Mitchell
17. Chris King
18. Jarrad Hoeata
19. Tim Boys
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Colin Slade
22. Shaun Treeby

Highlanders Lose To Cheetahs

The Highlanders lost their second match of the 2013 Super Rugby season to the Cheetahs in Invercargill tonight.  The bounce of the ball and the run of play went the Cheetahs way from the outset and the Highlanders could not pull back the scoreboard.

Final Score Highlanders 19 (7) Cheetahs 36 (30)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries -K. Poki 3
Con - L Sopoaga, C Slade

Cheetahs
Tries - S Pretorius 2 , R. Ebersohn
Pen - J Goosen 5
Con - J Goosen 3
 
Match Officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Vinny Munro

Teams

Highlanders
1. Tony Woodcock ,2. Andrew Hore (Captain),3. Ma'afu Fia,4. Brad Thorn,5. Josh Bekhuis,6. Joe Wheeler,7. John Hardie,8. Jake Paringatai ,9. Aaron Smith,10. Lima Sopoaga,11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain),12. Ma'a Nonu,13. Phil Burleigh ,14. Kade Poki ,15. Ben Smith
Replacements :16. Brayden Mitchell ,17. Chris King ,18. Jarrad Hoeata ,19. Tim Boys,20. Fumiaki Tanaka,21. Colin Slade ,22. Shaun Treeby

Cheetahs
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Heinrich Brussow, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin

Highlanders Named To Play Hurricanes in Dunedin

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr
Stadium in Dunedin tomorrow night (7.35pm NZT). 

Five changes have been made to the run-on XV that played the Cheetahs in Invercargill last Saturday.

In the forwards, Chris King plays his 99th game of Super Rugby.  Jarrad Hoeata comes back into
the starting pack and he is joined by Elliot Dixon at number eight.

In the backs, Colin Slade makes his long awaited return to the starting XV and he will be joined by
debutant Jason Emery who will start at centre.

In the reserves, TJ Ioane comes into the Highlanders’ 22 for the first time.

Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 15 March, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore (Captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Jarrad Hoeata
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Phil Burleigh
13. Jason Emery
14. Kade Poki
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Brayden Mitchell
17. Ma’afu Fia
18. Jake Paringatai
19. TJ Ioane
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Lima Sopoaga
22. Buxton Popoalii

Highlanders Lose To Hurricanes

The Highlanders lost to the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight.  Crowd 14,339.

Final Score Highlanders 19 (13) Hurricanes 23 (12)

Scorers

Highlanders
Tries - H Gear
Pen - C Slade 3
Con - C Slade

Hurricanes
Tries - C Smith, B Franks, TJ Perenara
Pen - B Barrett 2
Con - B. Barrett

Match Officials
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser (New Zealand),
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO : Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Teams

Highlanders
1. Tony Woodcock ,2. Andrew Hore (Captain),3. Chris King ,4. Brad Thorn,5. Jarrad Hoeata ,6. Joe Wheeler,7. John Hardie,8. Elliot Dixon ,9. Aaron Smith,,10. Colin Slade ,11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain),12. Phil Burleigh ,13. Jason Emery ,14. Kade Poki ,15. Ben Smith
Replacements : 16. Brayden Mitchell ,17. Ma’afu Fia ,18. Jake Paringatai ,19. TJ Ioane ,20. Fumiaki Tanaka,21. Lima Sopoaga ,22. Buxton Popoalii

Hurricanes
1. Ben Franks,2.Ash Dixon,3. Ben May,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. Jason Eaton,6. Brad Shields,7. Karl Lowe,8. Victor Vito,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Tim Bateman,13. Conrad Smith (c),14. Alapati Leiua,15. James Marshall
Replacements :16.Motu Matu'u,17. Reggie Goodes / Jeffery Toomaga-Allen,18. James Broadhurst,19. Faifili Levave,20. Chris Smylie,21. Tusi Pisi,22. Andre Taylor

Highlanders Development Team Named

The Highlanders Development team has been named to play the Fiji Warriors at Frosyth Barr Stadium tommorrow night  (5.30pm) in the Pacific Rugby Cup.  The team will be captained by Charie O'Connell from the Taieri Eels.

Highlanders Development Team

1.TUKI RAIMONA
2.TALE TAUPATI
3.NIC BARRETT
4. CHARLIE O’CONNELL ( C )
5. TOM FRANKLIN
6. GARETH EVANS
7. WILLIS SCOTT
8. PAUL GRANT
9. FRAE WILSON
10. LIMA SOPOAGA
11. JESSE TOTO
12. CARDIFF VAEGA
13. JAYDEN SPENCE
14. KIERAN MOFFAT
15. TRENT RENATA
16. WILL HURST
17. ASTON TALAIA
18. MICHAEL PETERSON
19. BLAIR TWEED
20. SCOTT EADE
21. PETER BREEN
22. NEIL BREW
23. SOLOMON T-POLE

IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2013, New Zealand tournament match schedule:

Monday 18 March
Highlanders Development v Fiji Warriors, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 5.30pm
Blues Development v Samoa A, Waitemata RFC, Waitemata, 6.30pm
Hurricanes Development vTonga A, Hutt Rec, Petone, 6.00pm

Saturday 23 March
Blues Development v Fiji Warriors, Waitemata RFC, Waitemata, 2.30pm
Crusaders Development v Samoa A, Christchurch Park, Christchurch, 2.00pm
Chiefs Development  v Tonga A, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti    2.45pm

Thursday 28 March
Blues Development v Junior Japan, Bell Park, Pakuranga RFC, Pakuranga, 6.30pm
Hurricanes Development v Fiji Warriors, Spriggens Park, Wanganui , 4.00pm
Chiefs Development  v Samoa A, Albert Park, Te Awamutu, 5.15pm
Crusaders Development v Tonga A, Linwood RFC, Christchurch, 5.00pm

Tuesday 2 April
Highlanders Development v Junior Japan, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, 4.30pm

Sunday 7 April
Hurricanes Development v Junior Japan, Community Trust Domain, Levin, 2.00pm

Highlanders Development Draw With Fiji Warriors

It was a tight arm-wrestle in the first 40 minutes between the Highlanders Development team and the Fiji Warriors at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin tonight.  Lima Sopoaga slotted a penalty to get the scoring started in the second minute of the match and from there both teams traded tries firstly to Fijian openside flanker, Apisai Domolailai, and then Highlanders winger, Jayden Spence.  Highlanders first five eight Lima Sopoaga added three penalties to close out the first half and have the home side ahead 17-7.

Fiji struck back in the opening stages of the second spell with two quick tries to tie the scores 20-all with 25 minutes to play.  The Highlanders were equal to the challenge with Lima Sopoaga slotting two penalties to stay in touch with the visitors and set up a thrilling last 20 minutes.  Fijian second five, Nemani Nadolo, picked up his second try and fullback Aisea Natogo crossed to give the visitors a handy 11 point lead with only 12 minutes on the stadium clock.  Highlanders’ captain, Charlie O’Connell crashed over with less than 10 minutes remaining, bringing the home crowd to their feet.  Sopoaga added the conversion to make it a 4 point ball game with 8 minutes remaining.  A penalty in the closing minutes to Fiji gave the visitors a chance of victory, however Lima Sopoaga crashed over and then converted his own try to give the Highlanders a drawn result with the Warriors of Fiji.

Match summary:
Highlanders 37 (Jayden Spence try, Charlie O’Connell 1 try, Lima Sopoaga 1 try, 6 penalties, 2 con) drew with the Fiji Warriors 37 (Nemani Nadolo 2 tries, Aisea Natoga 1 try, Apisai Domolailai 1 try, Ratunaisa Vaturanka 4 con 3 pen)

HT: 17-7 (Highlanders)
FT: 37-37

Crowd: 700
Referee: Kane McBride

Highlanders Named To Play Chiefs

Highlanders’ stalwart Chris King will run out onto Waikato Stadium tomorrow night for his 100th Super Rugby
appearance – his 84th for the Highlanders.

King made his debut for the Highlanders in 2005 and will join a small and illustrious group of centurions, with
only Anton Oliver (127 games) and Jimmy Cowan (108 games) also  to reach 100 games while playing for the
southern franchise.

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, commented that King’s achievement is testament to his attitude and
professionalism; both on and off the field.

‘Chris has a very professional approach to his rugby.  He trains hard, has great technique and gives his all for 80 minutes while on the park.  He’s been a great leader both on and off the field, and these attributes have made him a player who has been selected week in and week out for our team’.  

King has his second start for the season, and third appearance. Three changes have been made to the run-on XV that played the Hurricanes in Dunedin last Friday night.

In the forwards, Liam Coltman makes his first start for the Highlanders with both Andrew Hore and Brayden Mitchell on the injured list.  Josh Bekhuis returns to lock and Jarrad Hoeata moves to blindside flanker and Joe Wheeler moves to the bench.  In the backs, Ma’a Nonu returns to second five, while Phil Burleigh will provide impact from the reserves.  Jason Rutledge returns to the Highlanders as injury cover for Hore and Mitchell. Frae Wilson also joins the Highlanders’ reserves for the first time.

Brad Thorn will captain the team.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton – Friday 22 March, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Liam Coltman
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn (Captain)
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Jason Emery
14. Kade Poki
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Jason Rutledge
17. Bronson Murray
18. Joe Wheeler
19. Tim Boys
20. Frae Wilson
21. Lima Sopoaga
22. Phil Burleigh

Highlanders Lose To Chiefs

The Highlanders showed massive improvement against the Chiefs in Hamilton tonight, but the bounce of the ball and the rub of the green just didn't go the visitors way.  The boys will be looking foward to the Reds next Friday night when it all come together!

Final Score Chiefs 19 (13) Highlanders 7 (7)

Scorers

Chiefs
Tries - T.Nanai-Williams
Pen - G Anscombe 4
Con - G Anscombe

Highlanders
Tries - A Smith
Con - C Slade
Cards - J.Hoeata (yellow 22nd min)

Match Officials
Referee: Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri
TMO : Ben Skeen

Teams

Chiefs
1.Pauliasi Manu , 2.Hika Elliot , 3.Ben Tameifuna , 4.Michael Fitzgerald , 5.Brodie Retallick , 6.Liam Messam (c) , 7.Sam Cane , 8.Nick Crosswell , 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10.Aaron Cruden , 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12.Andrew Horrell , 13.Tim Nanai-Williams , 14.Lelia Masaga , 15.Gareth Anscombe
Replacements : 16.Rhys Marshall , 17.Ben Afeaki , 18.Romana Graham/Fritz Lee , 19.Tanerau Latimer , 20.August Pulu , 21.Charlie Ngatai , 22.Richard Kahui/Patrick Osborne

Highlanders
1. Ma'afu Fia, 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Chris King , 4. Brad Thorn (Captain) , 5. Josh Bekhuis , 6. Jarrad Hoeata , 7. John Hardie , 8. Elliot Dixon , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Colin Slade , 11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain) , 12. Ma'a Nonu , 13. Jason Emery , 14. Kade Poki , 15. Ben Smith
Replacements : 16. Jason Rutledge , 17. Bronson Murray , 18. Joe Wheeler , 19. Tim Boys , 20. Frae Wilson , 21. Lima Sopoaga , 22. Phil Burleigh

Highlanders Named To Play Reds In Dunedin On Easter Friday

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made three changes to the starting team that played
the Chiefs in Hamilton last Friday night.

In the forwards, Highlanders Captain Andrew Hore makes his return after suffering a rib injury
against the Hurricanes in round five.  Tony Woodcock also returns to the starting XV. Liam
Coltman and Ma’afu Fia both move to the reserves.

In the backs, Kade Poki has been ruled out with a rib injury, so Buxton Popoalii moves into the starting XV.

On the reserves bench, Coltman and Fia are joined by TJ Ioane and Fumiaki Tanaka – who both come back into the 22.

Highlanders v Reds, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 29 March, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore (Captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Jason Emery
14. Buxton Popoalii
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Ma’afu Fia
18. TJ Ioane
19. Tim Boys
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Lima Sopoaga
22. Phil Burleigh

Highlanders Lose To Reds

The Highlanders lost to the Reds tonight in a close, tough encounter at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Coming from behind after a slow start, the Highlanders went within 1 point of victory to lose 34-33.
 
The Reds hit the scoreboard early, with a try to Hooker James Hanson inside the opening 10 minutes, Quade Cooper converted to put the visitors ahead 7-0.
 
The Highlanders responded with a couple of penalties to Colin Slade, before Buxton Popoalii busted out some fancy footwork to slip down the sideline, eventually leading to the Highlanders being awarded with a penalty. Aaron Smith took a quicktap to send Elliot Dixon over for the Highlanders first try, with Slade converting to put them ahead 13-7 inside the first quarter.
 
The Reds spent the next five minutes camped inside the Highlanders 22 m, before Flanker Liam Gill pushed himself across the line for a try. Cooper converted to put the visitors back in front 14-13.
 
With Andrew Hore receiving a yellow card for slowing down play, the Reds made good use of the advantage, crossing over for another try through number 8 Jake Shatz. The Highlanders closed the gap with a penalty to Slade, however still trailed by 16-21 heading into halftime.
 
An early second half penalty pushed the Reds further in front before halfback Will Genia slipped through some weak defence to go over for an easy try, Cooper adding the extras to extend their lead to 31-16.
 
Hosea Gear got the home side back on track when he crashed over for a try, finishing off a great run from Ben Smith and Popoalii who went close himself before offloading to Gear. Sopoaga, who had come on to replace Slade, converted the try to close the gap to 23-31.
 
The Highlanders further closed the gap with less than 15 minutes to go, Ma’a Nonu spinning out of a tackle to score near the posts. Sopoaga again added the extra 2 points to close it right up to 1 point, 30-31.
 
With 10 minutes left to play, Cooper pushed the Reds ahead again with another penalty before Sopoaga landed one of his own shortly after to bring it back to a 1 point margin, 33-34 to the Reds.
 
The Highlanders had the most of possession in the final moments, however errors at lineouts and poor passing cost them the chance to push for their first win of the season. The reds eventually awarded with a free-kick as the fulltime siren went off, choosing to kick the ball out and take the win 34-33.
 
 
Final Score: Reds 34 (21) Highlanders 33 (16)

Reds: 34
Liam Gill, James Hanson, Jake Schatz, Will Genia tries, Quade Cooper 4 con, 2 pen
 
Highlanders: 33
Hosea Gear, Elliot Dixon, Ma'a Nonu tries, Colin Slade con, 3 pen; Lima Sopoaga 2 con, pen

Highlanders Development XV Named To Play Japan A

The Highlanders have named their 22 to take the field in their development game against Japan A at Forsyth Barr Stadium this afternoon.  Kick-off is 430pm and entry is via Gate D for the general public.  Entry is $5.

1. LOOSE HEAD: TUKI RAIMONA
2. HOOKER: JASON RUTLEDGE
3. TIGHTHEAD: BRONSON MURRAY
4. LOCK: TOM FRANKLIN
5. LOCK: JOE WHEELER
6. BLINDSIDE: JAKE PARINGATAI
7. OPENSIDE: HUGH BLAKE
8. NO. 8: PAUL GRANT (Captain)
9. SCRUM HALF: FRAE WILSON
10. FLY HALF/1ST FIVE: HAYDEN PARKER
11. WING: KIERAN MOFFAT
12. CENTRE/2ND FIVE: JAYDEN SPENCE
13. CENTRE: NEIL BREW
14. WING: TONY ENSOR
15. FULLBACK: TRENT RENATA
16. HOOKER: SEKONAIA POLE
17. PROP: NIC BARRETT
18. LOCK: JACKSON HEMOPO
19. LOOSE FORWARD: SOLOMON T-POLE
20. SCRUM HALF: TAYLER ADAMS
21. INSIDE BACK: PETER BREEN
22. OUTSIDE BACK: MICHAEL COLLINS

Highlanders Dev XV Beat Japan A

After a bit of back and forth in the opening quarter, the Highlanders took control in the second with three well constructed tries to Renata, Franklin and Spence.  It was a great spectacle for the 400-odd crowd with some end to end running rugby. Japan showed some fight in the backs and the forwards and if it wasn't for a dropped pass here and there they would have a bit more on the scoreboard.  For the Highlanders Ensor and Moffat are the pick of the backs in the first 40mintes while Franklin and Blake played well up front. The Highlanders dominated the second half running in another six tries while the visitors managed only a solitary five pointer. Japan did everything they could to stem the onslaught but the Highlanders Development XV were on fire. For the visitors winger Kenki Fukuoka and reserve outside back Rikiya Matsuda were the standouts making big meters with ball in hand.  The best on show for the Highlanders after 80 minutes was captain Paul Grant who made some huge busts while Tony Ensor was weaving his magic from the backs.  Hayden Parker was kicking goals from all over the show finishing with a 100% record kicking over 9 conversions.
HALF TIME Highlanders Development XV: 21 Japan A: 3
FULL TIME Highlanders Development XV:63 - Japan A:10

Highlanders Named To Play Blues

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made two changes to the starting team that played
the Reds in Dunedin last Friday night.

Jamie MacKintosh makes his first start for the season replacing Tony Woodcock who
has suffered a hamstring strain.  Mose Tuiali’i, who has joined the Highlanders as injury
cover for Nasi Manu, will also start tomorrow night at number 8 with Elliot Dixon returning
to the reserves.

Highlanders v Blues, Eden Park, Auckland – Friday 5 April, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Andrew Hore (Captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. Mose Tuiali’i
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Jason Emery
14. Buxton Popoalii
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Ma’afu Fia
18. TJ Ioane
19. Elliot Dixon
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Lima Sopoaga
22. Phil Burleigh

Highlanders Lose To Blues

The Highlanders lost their sixth straight match of the season against the Blues in Auckland tonight. A rejuvenated attack in the opening half got the visitors off to a good start, although a number of handling errors and a run of unfortunate injuries in the second spell let the Blues take control of the match and eventually take the win 29-18.
 
Colin Slade put the visitors on the board early, with a penalty inside the opening 2 minutes. Ben Smith extending the lead minutes later with a well worked try, stretching out his arm to put the ball down on the line. Slade added the conversion to bring the score out to 10-0.
 
Ma’a Nonu received a yellow card nearing the end of the first quarter for a shoulder charge on Piri Weepu, referee Steve Walsh initially elected to let him off with only a warning, however soon after he changed his decision to send Nonu to the sideline. The Blues made quick use of the one player advantage, with Flanker Steve Luatua running over in the corner for their opening try.
 
The Blues closed the gap to just 1 point with 30 minutes nearing on the clock, Prop Angus Ta’avau helping himself to a try. Former Highlander Chris Noakes, landed the conversion to put the Blues ahead 12-10.
 
Colin Slade kicked another penalty, just moments out from halftime, to edge the Highlanders back into the lead 13-12.
 
The Blues went down to 14 men early in the second half when George Moala was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Buxton Popoalii which led to Popoalii eventually having to be stretchered off the field.
 
The Highlanders looked to make the most of their advantage, dominating in territory and possession statistics but could not drive home their advantage. Piri Weepu ran in for his first of two tries for the game, although a questionable pass had to be reviewed before the try was awarded. Noakes adding the extras to give the Blues a 19-13 lead.
 
Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka come on in the last quarter with an immediate impact. Tanaka made a neat break from a pick and go, passing to Phil Burleigh while going to ground in a tackle. Burleigh then showed his strength in the tackle of Noakes, holding him off enough to dot down for a try and bring them back within 1 point of the Blues.
 
Noakes pushed the Blues ahead again with a penalty, followed moments later with Piri Weepu’s second try of the match, again needing to be referred to the TMO before being awarded. Baden Kerr, who came on to replace Noakes at first-five, kicked the conversion to put the Blues out to 29-18 with 10 minutes to go.
 
The Highlanders had their chances to close the match up near the end, spending lengthy periods in the Blues 22 metres though in the end they struggled to find a gap in a determined Blues defence, denied the win and also denied a bonus point for their efforts.
 
Blues - 29 (Steve Luatua, Angus Ta’avau, Piri Weepu (2) tries; Chris Noakes (2), Baden Kerr conversions; Noakes penalties)
 
Highlanders - 18 (Ben Smith, Phil Burleigh tries; Colin Slade conversion; Slade (2) penalties)

Highlanders Named To Play Brumbies

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made six changes to the starting team that played
the Blues in Auckland last Friday night.

In the forwards, Ma’afu Fia comes back into the front row, centurion Chris King joins
the reserves.  Jarrad Hoeata moves back into the engine room, joining Brad Thorn as his
locking partner.  Hoeata makes way for TJ Ioane who starts in the run-on XV for the first time.

In the backs the Otago pairing of Fumiaki Tanaka and Hayden Parker will both make their first start for the Highlanders, replacing Aaron Smith and Colin Slade respectively.  In the midfield, Phil Burleigh will start at centre. Kade Poki returns from injury and will start on the right wing.

Highlanders v Brumbies, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 12 April, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Andrew Hore (Captain)
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Brad Thorn
5. Jarrad Hoeata
6. TJ Ioane
7. John Hardie
8. Mose Tuiali’i
9. Fumiaki Tanaka
10. Hayden Parker
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Phil Burleigh
14. Kade Poki
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Chris King
18. Josh Bekhuis
19. Elliot Dixon
20. Aaron Smith
21. Colin Slade
22. Jason Emery

Highlanders Lose To Brumbies

The Highlanders lost their seventh straight match of the season against the Brumbies in Dunedin tonight, after falling behind early in the match they spent much of the game trying to catch up. A late try brought them close, however it was a case of too little too late, Brumbies winning 30-19
 
The Brumbies jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Henry Speight try, while Christian Lealiifano added the conversion, followed with a penalty shortly after.
 
Hayden Parker kept the home fans happy, while also keeping the Highlanders in touch on the scoreboard, kicking three penalties of his own.
 
The Brumbies dominated much of the territory for the remainder of the first half, putting pressure on the Highlanders defence while finding gaps in the midfield. A try to Brumbies flanker George Smith five minutes out from halftime gave the visitors a healthy advantage, although Parker kicked his fourth penalty of the night as the halftime siren sounded to keep the Highlanders in the game. Brumbies 17-12 at the break.
 
The second half was more of the same for the Brumbies, adding quick points through penalties from Nic White and Lealiifano to stretch their lead to 23-12 before speedy wing Joe Tomane pounced on a loose ball to run in for an easy try. Lealiifano added the extras to give them a 30-12 lead.
 
Aaron Smith came on to score a late try with five minutes left to go, Parker landing the conversion to finish with a 100% kicking record.
 
Highlanders 19 (Aaron Smith try; Hayden Parker 4 penalties; Parker  1 Conversion)
 
Brumbies 30 (Henry Speight, George Smith, Joe Tomane tries; Christian Lealiifano 2 Penalties, Nic White 1 Penalty; Lealiifano 3 Conversions)

Highlanders Named To Play Crusaders

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made six changes to the starting team that played
the Brumbies in Dunedin last Friday night.

In the forwards, Tony Woodcock and Chris King both come back into the front row, with
Jamie Mackintosh and Ma’afu Fia joining the reserves.  In the middle row, Josh Bekhuis
comes back into lock alongside Brad Thorn.  Mose Tuiali’i has sustained a knee
injury, so TJ Ioane will start at number 8 and Jarrad Hoeata moves to the blindside flank.

In the backs, Aaron Smith comes back into the run-on XV and Jason Emery returns to centre.  Tony Ensor gets his first start for 2013 on the right wing.

Highlanders v Crusaders, AMI Stadium, Christchurch – Saturday 20 April, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. TJ Ioane
9. Aaron Smith
10. Hayden Parker
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Jason Emery
14. Tony Ensor
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Ma’afu Fia
18. Jamie Mackintosh
19. Elliot Dixon
20. Fumiaka Tanaka
21. Colin Slade
22. Jake Paringatai

Highlanders Lose To Crusaders

The Highlanders have lost their eighth game of the season, 24-8, against a determined Crusaders side tonight. Playing well in patches, although ultimately getting pushed around too much at scrum time and failing to make the most of opportunities.
 
The Crusaders spent much of the opening quarter camped inside the Highlanders 22m, although a yellow card to Owen Franks for throwing a punch at Jarrad Hoeata halted their progress. The Highlanders failed to make use of the advantage however, Tyler Bleyendaal eventually grabbing a penalty to give the home side the lead.
 
Hayden Parker was given the chance to draw the scores level in the 21st minute, unluckily missing a difficult shot at goal.
 
Bleyendaal added a couple more penalties as the Crusaders continued to spend a lot of time inside the Highlanders half, before Robbie Fruean added to the Highlanders misery when he touched down for a try just out from halftime.  Bleyendaal added the conversion to give the Crusaders a 16-0 lead at halftime.
 
The Highlanders started the second spell with added enthusiasm, wasting little time in getting close to the opposition tryline. Constant pressure on the Crusaders line allowed Jason Emery to help himself to his first try in Super Rugby, Parker hitting the posts with his conversion attempt.
 
The Highlanders continued to try things, although a committed Crusaders defence mixed with problems in the lineouts and scrums, made it hard for the visitors to add any advantage. The Crusaders eventually stretching their lead to 19-5, thanks to another Bleyendaal penalty.
 
Colin Slade came on to replace Hayden Parker for the remaining quarter, adding an instant spark with a cheeky cross-field kick, before closing the gap to 8-19 shortly after through a penalty goal.
 
The remainder of the match was reduced to a forwards game as scrum resets began to dominate proceedings. Tom Taylor went on to seal the win for the Crusaders with a try five minutes out from fulltime, Bleyendaal missed the conversion but the win was all but assured for the home side.
 
TJ Ioane again showed his class at this level, while Ben Smith was solid as ever at fullback. Debutant Tony Ensor had a quite night at wing, although he got himself involved later in the match and can be happy with his first outing.
 
Crusaders 24 (Robbie Fruean, Tom Taylor tries; Tyler Bleyendaal Conversion, 4 Penalties)
 
Highlanders 8 (Jason Emery Try; Colin Slade Penalty)

Highlanders Named To Play Sharks

Brad Thorn will run out onto Forsyth Barr Stadium for his 100th Super Rugby appearance tomorrow night.
He joins fellow Highlander Chris King who also reached this significant milestone in 2013.

Thorn made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2001 and played 92 games for the red & blacks
up until the end of 2011.  Thorn linked with the Highlanders in 2013 and he joins a small and illustrious
group of centurions, with only Anton Oliver (127 games), Jimmy Cowan (108), Tony Brown (108)
and Chris King (102) also to reach the milestone while playing for the southern franchise.

Highlanders' Head Coach Jamie Joseph said of Thorn:  "Brad is a great player who brings a work ethic like no other.  He's a natural leader within our environment, and he has added a massive amount to our leadership group this season".

Highlanders Chief Executive Roger Clark said: “On behalf of the Highlanders franchise, and all those who support Brad, we offer our congratulations on achieving 100 Super Rugby games.  He brings up this milestone in a Highlanders jersey with his family in attendance, which is special for all of us”.
 
Jamie Joseph has made four changes to the starting team that played the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday 20 April.  The Highlanders forward pack remains unchanged from the eight that started against the Crusaders.  In the backs, Colin Slade starts at 10 and Hayden Parker moves back to the reserves. Ma’a Nonu has been ruled out through injury, bringing Shaun Treeby back into the starting XV in his place.  Tamati Ellison makes a long awaited return from a shoulder injury and he will start at centre.  Phil Burleigh will start on the right wing.

Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 4 May, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. TJ Ioane
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Phil Burleigh
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Ma’afu Fia
18. Elliot Dixon
19. Joe Wheeler
20. Fumiaka Tanaka
21. Hayden Parker
22. Jason Emery

Highlanders Beat Sharks

The Highlanders opened the match with a new found determination on attack, although the Sharks matched this with an aggressive defensive effort.
 
JP Pietersen received a yellow card in the sixth minute, for deliberately knocking the ball down when the Highlanders were hot on attack. Aaron Smith opted for a quick tap, that ultimately led to nothing. Colin Slade attempted a penalty goal three minutes later, unluckily hitting the posts.
 
Shaun Treeby opened the scoring for the Highlanders in the tenth minute when he pounced on a cheeky grubber kick, Colin Slade adding the conversion to give the home side a 7-0 lead. The Sharks responded moments later when Meyer Mosman ran in for an easy try between the posts, Patrick Lambie converting to lock the scores up at 7-7.
 
Lambie grabbed the lead for the Sharks in the 28th minute, kicking a penalty after spending a lot of time pressuring the Highlanders defence close to the tryline. Slade had the opportunity to draw the scores back level moments later, although he hit the posts again with his attempt.
 
The Sharks further extended their lead to 15-7, five minutes out from halftime. Lwazi Mvovo finishing off a nice break, outpacing Ben Smith to score a try in the corner. Lambie’s conversion attempt from out wide hit the post.
 
Slade had another penalty shot to pull the home side closer heading into halftime, however he was off target and pushed the ball wide of the posts.
 
The Highlanders hit the board early in the second half when Aaron Smith took a quick-tap penalty, with a great result this time, as he ran in for a try. Slade added the extras to bring them within one point of the visitors. Slade kicked a penalty minutes later to give the Highlanders a 17-15 lead.
 
Another penalty goal by Colin Slade in the 51st minute pushed the Highlanders five points clear of the visiting South Africans, before Colin Slade added a try to his list for the night, finishing off a well worked Highlanders run started by Ben Smith to give the home side a 25-15 lead.
 
Meyer Bosman added a second try to his tally for the night with 20 minutes to play, finishing off a long passage of play where the Sharks spent a lot of time pressuring the Highlanders defence close to the line. Lambie added the conversion to close the gap up to 25-22.
 
The Sharks spent much of the remaining quarter inside the Highlanders 22m, pressuring the home sides line, but ultimately coming out second best. Brad Thorn received a yellow card late it the match which gave the Sharks a one player advantage, although they could not break the determine Highlanders defence.
 
The Highlanders claiming their first victory of the season 25-22, while giving Brad Thorn extra reason to celebrate following his 100th Super Rugby Match.
 
Sharks 22 (Meyer Bosman 2, Lwazi Mvovo Tries; Patrick Lambie 2 Conversions;  Lambie Penalties)
 
Highlanders 25 (Shaun Teeby, Aaron Smith, Colin Slade Tries; Colin Slade 2 Conversions; Colin Slade 2 Penalties)

Highlanders Lose To Kings

Final Score Southern Kings 34 (20) Highlanders 27 (17)

Scorers

Southern Kings
Tries - L.Watson 2, C.du Preez, S.Venter
Pen - D.Catrakilis 2
Con - D.Catrakilis 3

Highlanders
Tries - C.Slade, B Thorn, S.Treeby, H.Gear
Pen - C.Slade
Con - C.Slade 2
Cards - (Tamati Ellison 51st min)

Match Officials
Referee: Jason Jaftha
Assistant Ref 1:Sindile Mayende
Assistant Ref 2:Christie du Preez
TMO : Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Southern Kings
George Whitehead, Marcello Sampson, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss, Siyanda Grey, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku, AN Other, Wimpie van der Walt, Steven Sykes, David Bulbring, Luke Watson (captain), Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: Virgile Lacombe, AN Other, Daniel Adongo, Devin Oosthuizen, Nicolas Vergallo, Shane Gates, SP Marais.

Highlanders
Ben Smith, Tino Nemani, Tamati Ellison, Shaun Treeby, Hosea Gear, Colin Slade, Aaron Smith, TJ Ioane, John Hardie, Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Bekhuis, Brad Thorn, Chris King, Andrew Hore (capt), Tony Woodcock.
Replacements : Liam Coltman, Maafu Fia, Mose Tuialii, Joe Wheeler, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Jason Emery

Highlanders Named To Play Bulls

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Bulls at
Loftus Versfeld on Sunday morning New Zealand time.

Three changes have been made to the starting XV that played the Kings last weekend –
all in the forwards.  Jamie Mackintosh comes into loose-head prop and Tony Woodcock
moves to the reserves.  Jarrad Hoeata moves into lock, replacing Josh Bekhuis who
sustained a shoulder injury last weekend.  Joe Wheeler will start on the blindside and
Mose Tuiali’i will anchor the scrum from number 8. This moves TJ Ioane to the reserves,
joining Elliot Dixon who is also loose-forward cover.

Highlanders v Bulls, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria – Sunday 19 May, 3.05am (NZ Time).
1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Jarrad Hoeata
6. Joe Wheeler
7. John Hardie
8. Mose Tuiali’i
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Tino Nemani
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Tony Woodcock
18. Elliot Dixon
19. TJ Ioane
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Hayden Parker
22. Jason Emery

Highlanders Lose To Bulls

The Highlanders horror season continued overnight as the Bulls notched up a comfortable 35-18 win at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria. The Highlanders struggled to gain much momentum throughout the match, as the game became largely dominated by penalties. Late tries to the Southerners bought the score closer, although their fate had largely been settled inside the first half.
 
The Bulls hit the board early thanks to a JJ Engelbrecht try inside the opening two minutes, Morne Steyn adding the conversion to put the home side ahead 7-0, before Colin Slade closed the gap up through a penalty, just minutes later.
 
Slade bought the Highlanders within one point with another penalty in the 14th minute, before Steyn responded with three penalties of his own to give the Bulls a handy 16-6 lead, in a passage where both sides struggled to gain much control of the game.
 
The Highlanders looked set to score a try heading into halftime, showing promise on attack while stringing 12 phases of play together, before coughing the ball up in-sight of the posts. Veteran Bulls winger, Akona Ndungane raced away from the resulting play to score a controversial try, as the pass to him appeared to have travelled forward after Engelbrecht lost control of the ball. Both sides had come back to what they thought would be a scrum, however the try was confirmed by the TMO. Steyn added the conversion to give his side a comfortable 23-6 lead at halftime.
 
Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph rang the changes at halftime, bringing on four fresh players in Liam Coltman, Jason Emery, TJ Ioane and Tony Woodcock in an effort to turn the game around, although a try early in the second half to Bulls captain Pierre Spies (celebrating his 100th Super Rugby appearance) virtually shut the visitors out of the match.
 
Poor discipline hurt the Highlanders in the second spell, with winger Tino Nemani and Chris King both receiving yellow cards, leaving the Southerners to battle with fourteen players over a 20 minute period. The Bulls went close to scoring, although ultimately could not make use of the player advantage.
 
Further changes were made by both sides, with Japanese halfback Fumiaki Tanaka injecting himself well into the game, helping himself to a try inside the final 10 minutes to help close the score. Hayden Parker, who had also come on to replace Slade, took over the kicking duties to convert Tanaka’s try.
 
Bulls replacement halfback, Jano Vermaak gave his side a bonus point when he raced away from the back of a maul to score their fourth try of the match, with just three minutes left to play. Tamati Ellison showed his strength when he went over for a consolation try after the fulltime siren, Parker missed the conversion attempt from out wide although it didn’t matter as the Bulls had already sealed the win, 35-18.
 
The Highlanders head to Perth next week (Saturday May 25) to take on the Western Force at nib Stadium, with their hopes now set on pulling themselves up from the bottom of the competition standings. Kickoff is set for 19:40 NZ time.
 
Bulls 35 (JJ Engelbrecht, Akona Ndungane, Pierre Spies, Jano Vermaak tries; Morne Steyn 3 con, 3 pen)
 
Highlanders 18 (Fumiaki Tanaka, Tamati Ellison tries; Colin Slade 2 pen, Hayden Parker con)
HT: 23-6

Highlanders Named To Play Western Force

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Western Force at
NIB Stadium tomorrow night.

Seven changes have been made to the starting XV that played the Bulls last weekend in
Pretoria.  In the forwards, a new front row will take the field with Tony Woodcock, Liam
Coltman and Ma’afu Fia joining the starting XV.  Josh Bekhuis returns from a shoulder
injury and will join Brad Thorn in the second row.  TJ Ioane will start on the blindside with Joe Wheeler
moving to the reserves.

In the backline, first five eighth Hayden Parker will start with Colin Slade moving to the reserves. Ma’a Nonu makes his return to the team after a knee injury, replacing Shaun Treeby who suffered a head knock last weekend.  The final backline change is Jason Emery who comes in for Tino Nemani – who moves to the reserves and is bracketed with Trent Renata.

Brad Thorn will captain the side.    

Highlanders v Western Force, NIB Stadium, Perth – Saturday 25 May, 9.40pm (NZ Time).
1. Tony Woodcock
2. Liam Coltman
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Brad Thorn (captain)
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. TJ Ioane
7. John Hardie
8. Mose Tuiali’i
9. Aaron Smith
10. Hayden Parker
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Jason Emery
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Andrew Hore
17. Bronson Murray
18. Joe Wheeler
19. Elliot Dixon
20. Fumiaki Tanaka
21. Colin Slade
22. Tino Nemani/Trent Renata

Highlanders Lose To Force

Final Score Force 19 (10) Highlanders 18 (6)

Scorers

Force
Tries - S.Ebersohn
Pen - J.Hayward 4
Con - J.Hayward
Cards - A. Mathewson (yellow 61st min)

Highlanders
Pen - H.Parker 2, C.Slade 4

Match Officials
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 1:Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 2:Michael Hogan
TMO : George Ayoub

Teams
Force
1. Pek Cowan,2. Heath Tessmann,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Toby Lynn ,5. Sam Wykes,6. Matt Hodgson (c),7. Chris Alcock,8. Ben McCalman ,9. Alby Mathewson ,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Nick Cummins,12. Kyle Godwin,13. Ben Jacobs ,14. Patrick Dellit ,15. Jayden Hayward

Replacements : 16. James Hilterbrand,17. Tetera Faulkner,18. Rory Walton,19. Richard Brown ,20. Brett Sheehan,21. Junior Rasolea,22. Sam Norton-Knight

Highlanders
1. Tony Woodcock ,2. Liam Coltman ,3. Ma'afu Fia ,4. Brad Thorn (captain) ,5. Josh Bekhuis ,6. TJ Ioane,7. John Hardie,8. Mose Tuiali'i,9. Aaron Smith ,10. Hayden Parker ,11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain),12. Ma'a Nonu ,13. Tamati Ellison ,14. Jason Emery ,15. Ben Smith

Replacements : 16. Andrew Hore ,17. Bronson Murray ,18. Joe Wheeler ,19. Elliot Dixon ,20. Fumiaki Tanaka ,21. Colin Slade ,22. Tino Nemani

Highlanders Named To Play To The Blues

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night.  The match takes on additional significance with the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy on the line.

The trophy honours one of the characters of Otago rugby who was also in the unique
position of having coached both the Highlanders and the Blues.

Otago, under Hunter’s tutelage in the early 1990s, was regarded as one of the most exciting teams in New Zealand and had talent that graced the All Blacks, including players such as Jeff Wilson, Josh Kronfeld and Taine Randell. Hunter, who also played for Otago, was coach of Otago from 1992 until 1995 and became coach of the Highlanders in the first year of Super Rugby.

He then advanced to join the New Zealand selection panel; his first year produced the first test series win by the All Blacks in South Africa. At the end of Hunter’s tenure with the All Blacks in 1999, he took over as coach of the Blues, continuing in that role until ill health forced his retirement. Throughout his coaching career Hunter combined his passion for rugby with his profession as a detective. He died in 2002

Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 1 June, 7.35pm.
1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Andrew Hore (captain)
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Brad Thorn
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. Mose Tuiali’i
9. Fumiaki Tanaka
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain)
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Trent Renata
15. Ben Smith
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman
17. Bronson Murray
18. Elliot Dixon
19. TJ Ioane
20. Aaron Smith
21. Hayden Parker
22. Ma’a Nonu

Highlanders Beat Blues

The Highlanders put on one of the performances of the season to defeat the Blues 38-28 before a crowd of 12,888 at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin last night. Scoring four tries in the first half to claim a bonus point, while also claiming the much cherished ‘Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy’.
 
The home side started strongly, with the ever reliable fullback, Ben Smith getting amongst the forwards early to dive over from a ruck, scoring the first try of the game following constant pressure. Colin Slade added the conversion from out wide to give the Highlanders a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
 
Blues halfback, Piri Weepu copped an unfortunate knee to the head in the 14th minute, leaving him unconscious for a few moments before being attended by medical staff and eventually removed from the field on a stretcher.
 
Blues coach Sir John Kirwan stated after the match that Weepu was okay, "He was knocked out and obviously the doctor was concerned about his neck. But he's walking around and talking. He can't remember much but he's in pretty good shape considering."
 
While Weepu was being attended, play continued, with his opposite Fumiaki Tanaka going close for a try before the Blues were penalised for not releasing him in the tackle. Colin Slade kicked the goal to make it 10-0 to the Highlanders.
 
Tamati Ellison added another five points to the Highlanders tally when he went through for a try, rolling his way out of a Rene Ranger tackle to dot the ball down. Slade again added the extras from out wide to push the Southerners out to a 17-0 lead with 23 minutes gone.
 
Ben Smith helped himself to a double, scoring his second try for the night after a solid build up from the Highlanders. Slade missed with the conversion, however the Highlanders were building a handy lead, 22-0 with 28 minutes complete.
 
The Highlanders grabbed a bonus point minutes later when Hosea Gear left the Blues in his wake, running it in for their fourth try of the night, finished off with a nice little dive. Slade regained his kicking form to add the extras, giving the Highlanders a healthy 29-0 lead.
 
The Blues were rewarded with a late first half try, thanks to a chip and chase effort from wing Waisake Naholo. Baden Kerr kicked the conversion for the visitors to give them something to smile about heading into the break. Highlanders 29-7 at halftime.
 
Colin Slade kicked a couple of penalties early in the second half to extended the lead to 35-7 before the Blues mounted a comeback. Rene Ranger and flanker Steven Luatua both picking up tries for the visitors, with Kerr adding the extras to bring them back into the match 35-21.
 
However, this was to be the Highlanders night, with the Blues causing too many errors and giving away costly penalties. Hayden Parker, who took the field for Colin Slade late in the game, kicked a penalty to give the home side a 38-21 lead with just over five minutes left to play.
 
After constant pressure in the final moments, the Highlanders went close to adding another try, although handling errors gave the Blues a chance with the ball which they made the most of. Jamie Mackintosh received a late yellow card, followed by a big applause by the Highlanders faithful in the stands.
 
Charles Piutau made a good break after the fulltime hooter, before Luke Braid grabbed a consolation try which also gave them a bonus point for their efforts. Baden Kerr kicked the goal to bring the scores to 38-28. The Highlanders now take a break from competition due to the June Internationals between the All Blacks and France, with their next game scheduled for June 29 against the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin

Highlanders Named To Play Crusaders

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night. The Highlanders resume competition play after the June test window, and with Highlander Hosea Gear
playing his 100th Investec Super Rugby game, a large crowd is expected in Dunedin.

Hosea made his debut for the Highlanders in 2012 and has had a remarkable run.  He played all 16 games in 2012 and has not missed a game this season, bringing his total games for the Highlanders to 29 caps.  Hosea made his debut for the Hurricanes against the Chiefs in 2004.  With 36 tries in Super Rugby and 42 tries at provincial level, he has proven himself as one of the best finishers in the game.

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has seen the development of Hosea into a world-class player and professional athlete.

“I have seen Hosea develop into one of the best players in the world in his position. He is one of the hardest workers both on and off the field.  He always brings a professional approach to the Highlanders team environment and is highly respected by all the guys.  Our team would like to congratulate him for reaching this remarkable milestone”.

Highlanders' General Manager Roger Clark also congratulated Hosea on reaching 100 games in Super Rugby.

"Hosea is a remarkable player and a strong leader within our team.  He has always done his talking on the field and led by example and this season has been one of his best.  On behalf of the Highlanders I would like to congratulate Hosea on reaching 100 Super games tomorrow night".

Tomorrow night’s game is the 23rd between the southern neighbours with the Crusaders having the on-field advantage with 15 wins to the Highlanders 8.  Jamie Joseph has made three changes to the starting XV that dispatched the Blues on 1 June.  Tony Woodcock starts at loose-head prop, Elliot Dixon replaces the injured John Hardie at openside flanker and Kade Poki comes back into the run-on XV after a long absence with a rib injury.  On the bench, Lima Sopoaga makes his return from an ankle injury.

Ticket sales have been strong all week with 16,800 tickets sold to date.  Forsyth Barr Stadium capacity is 22,600.

Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 29 June, 7.35pm.
1. Tony Woodcock (122)
2. Andrew Hore – captain (138)
3. Ma’afu Fia (21)
4. Brad Thorn (104)
5. Josh Bekhuis (68)
6. Jarrad Hoeata (44)
7. Elliot Dixon (13)
8. Mose Tuiali’i (74)
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (11)
10. Colin Slade (44)
11. Hosea Gear - vice-captain (99)
12. Shaun Treeby (23)
13. Tamati Ellison (74)
14. Kade Poki (39)
15. Ben Smith (69)
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman (10)
17. Bronson Murray (42)
18. Jake Paringatai (7)
19. TJ Ioane (10)
20. Aaron Smith (41)
21. Lima Sopoaga (15)
22. Ma’a Nonu (132)

Highlanders Open Additional Seats

Due to ticket demand, the Highlanders have opened the Mitre 10 Mega Stand for tomorrow’s final Super Rugby home fixture versus the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The stand was not planned to be opened for this match (due to University holidays), however with ticket sales exceeding expectation the stand has now be opened for public sale.  

Tickets sales have reached 17,000 and the additional seats brings the capacity to 22,600.

Tickets are the regular price of $15 (same price for both adults and children).  The stand will still be GA (general admission – not allocated seats).

Highlanders Lose To Crusaders

The Highlanders have suffered another loss in their final home match for the season, going down 40-12 to the Crusaders. A solid start from the home side gave their loyal fans some hope of a win, although the Crusaders ran away with it in the second half.
 
The Crusaders hit the board early with a Dan Carter penalty two minutes into the match, the Highlanders being caught offside. However, the home side wasted little time in securing their first points of the night, Ben Smith crossing over for a try following some nice team play and a good offload by Tamati Ellison. Colin Slade kicked the conversion to give the Highlanders a 7-3 lead inside the first ten minutes.
 
Jarred Hoeata received a yellow card in the 18th minute for foul play, however a determined defensive effort by the Southerners prevented the Crusaders gaining any immediate advantage from the extra man.
 
The Crusaders were finally rewarded for their efforts when George Whitelock finished off a good Dan Carter break, scoring a try between the posts. Carter added the extras to give his side a 10-7 lead 10 minutes before halftime. Another Dan Carter penalty after the halftime siren gave the Crusaders a 13-7 lead at the break.
 
The Highlanders survived an early second half attack, Zac Guilfords efforts being reviewed by the TMO, although a try was not awarded. However, moments later the visitors extended their lead tanks to an Andy Ellis try. Carter adding the conversion for a 20-7 lead two minutes into the second half.
 
Hosea Gear got the home side back on track when he dotted down in the corner, bringing them back in touch at 12-20. Ma’a Nonu became the second player sent off when he was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle, although instead of a yellow card he received red which spelt the end of his night. Carter subsequently kicked the penalty for the dangerous tackle, extending their lead to 23-12.
 
Moments later Crusaders replacement hooker, Corey Flynn was also shown a yellow card for a stiff-arm on Aaron Smith, becoming the third player of the match to be sent off the field.
 
Dan Carter further extend the Crusaders lead through a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, followed minutes later with a converted try. Former Highlanders wing, Telusa Veainu put the final nail in the coffin with a great individual effort, scoring one of the tries of the night right on fulltime. Carter added the conversion to seal the 40-12 win.
 
Crusaders 40 (George Whitelock, Andy Ellis, Dan Carter, Telusa Veainu tries; Dan Carter (4) Penalties, (4) Conversions)
 
Highlanders 12 (Ben Smith, Hosea Gear Tries; Colin Slade Conversion)

Highlanders Beat Hurricanes

The Highlanders turned on one of their performances of the season to beat the Hurricanes 49-44, in a try-frenzy in the capital last night. With the match seen as having little significance in terms of overall standings, both sides being out of playoff contention, the Highlanders showed everyone again what could have been.
 
Both teams exchanged penalties early on, with Beauden Barrett kicking his side out to a 6-3 lead, before Colin Slade sparked the Highlanders into action.
 
Taking the ball from inside his own 22m, the first five-eight then linked up with Hosea Gear who took off down field, eventually being tackled just outside the opposition 22m. Tony Woodcock was on hand to gather Gear’s offload before handing the pill to Mose Tuiali’i who went in for the sides opening try. Slade finished it all off with a conversion to give the visitors a 10-6 15 minutes in.
 
Slade was at it again a couple of minutes later, taking off on a nice little run before putting in a nicely weighted chip kick for Tamati Ellison to chase. Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara was back in cover to chase the kick, however he failed to gather the ball as he dived for it, leaving Ellison to pick it up and cross over for the try. Slade again adding the extras, to have the Highlanders ahead 17-6 inside the opening quarter.
 
Elliot Dixon, in one of his best performances this season, got into the action in the 25th minute when he broke off the back of a maul, holding off the tackle of Perenara long enough to slip a great offload to put Aaron Smith in for a try.
 
The Hurricanes finally got a break when Hooker Ash Dixon closed the gap, diving through the defence for a try just minutes out from halftime. Barrett added the conversion to bring the score to 27-13.
 
Kade Poki finished off a superb first half effort when he went in for a try, fending off three defenders to grab the bonus point try after the halftime siren, giving the Highlanders a 32-13 lead at the break.
 
Aaron Smith received a yellow card in the 53rd minute after multiple team offences, the extra man giving the Hurricanes the space to put Ben Franks in for a try before Julian Savea grabbed one of his own moments later. Barrett kicking both conversions to close the gap to 35-27.
 
Hosea Gear took the match into his own hands when he set off on a run in the 64th minute, seeing off Barrett before spinning out of the tackle of Brad Shields to go in for a superb individual try. Hayden Parker added the extras to put the visitors ahead 42-27.
 
TJ Ioane showed his class minutes later when he took off on a charging run, pushing off a couple of would-be tacklers before slipping a nice ball to send Elliot Dixon in for a try between the posts. Parker kicked the conversion to bring the Highlanders out to a 49-27 lead.
 
The Hurricanes started a comeback with just over 10 minutes remaining, when reserve halfback Chris Smylie grabbed an opportunist try, intercepting an Andrew Hore pass from the bottom of the ruck to score an easy try.
 
James Broadhurst further closed the gap when he stretched out for a try, arguably while being held in a tackle however the try was awarded by the referee. Barrett added the extras to make the score 49-41.
 
The Highlanders again went down to 14 men with Bronson Murray receiving a late yellow card, leaving the southern men to finish the match one man down. The Hurricanes opted for a penalty following the offense, closing the scores to 49-44 where the would remain to give the Highlanders their third win for the season.
 
The bonus point victory has also allowed the Highlanders to move up a position on the table, lifting themselves from the bottom with one match remaining.
 
Highlanders 49 (Mose Tuiali'i, Tamati Ellison, Aaron Smith, Kade Poki, Hosea Gear, Elliot Dixon tries; Colin Slade 3 pen, 3 con; Hayden Parker 2 con)
Hurricanes 44 (Ash Dixon, Ben Franks, Julian Savea, Chris Smylie, James Broadhurst tries; Beauden Barrett 3 pen, 5 con) HT: 32-13

Highlanders Named To Play Rebels In Melbourne

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Rebels in
Melbourne tomorrow night.

Joseph has made two changes to the starting XV that played the Hurricanes last
weekend in Wellington.  In the forwards, captain Andrew Hore comes back into the
run-on XV.

In the backs, Jason Emery will start at centre and Tamati Ellison will move to second five-eighth.

Shaun Treeby moves to the reserves and Buxton Popoalii drops out of the 22.

Highlanders v Rebels, AMII Park, Melbourne – Friday 12 July 2013, 9.40pm (NZT).
1. Tony Woodcock (124)
2. Andrew Hore – captain (140)
3. Ma’afu Fia (23)
4. Brad Thorn (106)
5. Josh Bekhuis (70)
6. TJ Ioane (12)
7. Elliot Dixon (15)
8. Mose Tuiali’i (76)
9. Aaron Smith (43)
10. Colin Slade (46)
11. Hosea Gear - vice-captain (102)
12. Tamati Ellison (76)
13. Jason Emery (10)
14. Kade Poki (41)
15. Ben Smith (71)
Reserves
16. Liam Coltman (12)
17. Bronson Murray (44)
18. Jake Paringatai (9)
19. Joe Wheeler (13)
20. Fumiaki Tanaka (13)
21. Hayden Parker (9)
22. Shaun Treeby (25)

Highlanders Lose To Rebels

The Highlanders have ended their 2013 Super Rugby campaign with 1-point loss to the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Leading 31-7 at halftime, the Highlanders failed to shut out the game as the Rebels came back in the second spell to win the match 38-37.
 
Highlanders fullback Ben Smith opened up the scoring for the visitors with a try in the 6th minute, finishing off a strong team build up to grab an early lead. Colin Slade added the conversion to make it 7-0.
 
The Rebels hit back quickly with centre Tom English scoring a try of his own just minutes later, Jason Woodward adding the extras to bring the scores back level inside the opening 10 minutes.
 
Hosea Gear got himself into the action early, crossing for a try nearing the end of the first quarter to put the Highlanders back infront. Slade again had no trouble with the kick, adding the two points for a 14-7 lead.
 
Slade extended the lead to 17-7 with a penalty in the 26th minute, the Rebels guilty of collapsing the scrum.
 
The Highlanders then made it three tries when Tamati Ellison dotted down nearing halftime, Slade converting to give the visitors a 24-7 advantage.
 
Tony Woodcock capped off a strong first half performance for the Highlanders with a bonus point try on the stroke of halftime, Slade kicking the sideline extras for a 31-7 lead heading into the break.
 
The Rebels hit the board first in the second spell, closing the gap with a lucky try to Winger Cooper Vuna. Woodward kicked the conversion to make the score 31-14, before another Colin Slade penalty in the 51st minute extended the Highlanders lead to 34-14.
 
The Rebels further closed the gap with a nicely worked set-play move from a scrum, resulting in a try to Cooper Vuna, his second of the match. Woodward kicked the conversion to bring the scores to 34-21 with 20 minutes remaining.
 
Tom English added his double for the night, finishing off a long build up to bring the home side right back into the match. Woodward again adding the extras for a 34-28 scoreline.
 
The Rebels closed the gap to just one point when first five-eighth Bryce Hegarty scored a try in the corner, Woodward missing the conversion that would of put them into the lead.
 
Hayden Parker then restored the advantage moments later when he kicked a penalty with 3 just minutes left to go, bringing the score to 34-28.
 
As the Highlanders prepared to close out the match, the Rebels stepped it up another notch as they took control of the game. Regaining the kickoff after Parkers penalty, the Rebels then set up camp inside the Highlanders 22m area.
 
Rebels first five, Hegarty sealed the win in the 79th minute as he scored his double for the game, the third player to do so in the match. Departing Captain lined up the conversion for his final play for the Rebels before heading back overseas, the kick may have missed but the match had already been decided, the Rebels taking the game 38-37.
 
 
Highlanders 37 (Ben Smith, Hosea Gear, Tamati Ellison, Tony Woodcock tries; Colin Slade 4 conversions, 2 penalties; Hayden Parker penalty)
 
Rebels 38 (Tom English 2, Cooper Vuna 2, Bryce Hegarty 2 tries; Jason Woodward 4 conversions) HT: 31-7

Highlanders Season Tickets Go On Sale Today For Early Birds

Highlanders’ season tickets for the 2014 season have gone on sale today to the 4,200 existing Highlanders’ season ticket holders. With eight games at Forsyth Barr Stadium in 2014 this will add more value to the offer.  All 4,200 existing season ticket holders will be offered the early bird discount of 30% off full price, with the option to add friends or family at the same price.

The category prices for the 2014 season have not changed, based on the per-game price, but with the addition of one extra game there will be a proportional increase from the 2013 price charged.  There has also been a category change in the Ticket Direct Stand from gold to platinum.

Doug McSweeney, Highlanders’ Marketing Manager, commented that the Highlanders have tried to balance the 50% rate-payer discount offered to season ticket holders in 2011 and 2012, with the price offered in 2013, and now the additional game in 2014.

“We have not changed game or season ticket prices for four years now, other than the 50% discount we offered in 2010 and 2011.  We know that we must offer a competitive price in the market to allow our season ticket holders the opportunity to support our team at the stadium.  This at-game support is so vital to our business both on and off the field”

For existing season ticket holders, the early bird prices start at $170 for adults in the gold section and $85 for primary or secondary school children.  There is also the option to buy the very popular ‘Take A Kid To The Highlanders’ family ticket for $208 – which is for one adult and one child.  All existing season ticket holders can also add family and friends at the same early bird price.

The top early bird price point - adult platinum - is only $225, which in comparison to the other four franchises is the best value for money by a long way.   The Blues’ price is $299 and the likes of the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Chiefs are all over $300 per season.

There has been a category change for the 2014 season which will affect season ticket holders in the Ticket Direct Stand.  The centre section between the two 10m lines has been upgraded from gold to platinum.  

“We have been working on the seating categories over the past couple of seasons at the Stadium to work out the best layout for our matches.  Based on our first two seasons at the stadium and other events at the venue, including All Blacks test matches, we have made the decision to change the centre section of the Ticket Direct stand to Platinum. These are the only seats in our ticket offer that sit inside the two 10m lines and the price of these seats needs to reflect this both in-season tickets and for game-day sales”  commented McSweeney
 
The draw for the 2014 season is expected to be confirmed within the next two weeks.  The Highlanders will face usual foes the Crusaders, Blues, Hurricanes and Chiefs in the New Zealand Conference and they will also play the Bulls, Force, Lions and Rebels to round out the eight-game home draw.

Season tickets for the general public will be on sale from 21 October until the end of the year. New season ticket holders will be offered the same 30% early bird discount as existing season ticket holders.  Season ticket holders also have the option to pay for their season ticket on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis – which spreads the costs over the year and makes it even more affordable. 

For more information, please visit our season ticket page:  Click here.

Tony Brown Signs With Highlanders

The Highlanders have announced today that former Highlander, and Otago ITM Coach, Tony Brown, has signed for the Highlanders as an assistant coach.

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, made the following comment.

“I’ve been impressed with Brownie’s performances with Otago over the last couple of years; the team has played with a lot of character and he has shown a great ability to get the best out of his players. I’m looking forward to having his input in the coaching mix for 2014. ”

As a player, Tony Brown played 90 games for the Highlanders in a career that spanned from 1996 to 2011.  He returned to the Highlanders in 2011 as injury cover at first five-eighth, and the following year took up a 2-year head coaching role with the Otago ITM Team.  Brown had immediate success with Otago, taking them to the finals series in both 2012 and 2013 and also winning the Ranfurly Shield for the first time in 56 years.

Highlanders’ General Manager, Roger Clark congratulated Tony on his coaching appointment.

“On behalf of the Highlanders, I would like to congratulate Tony on his appointment.  Tony has proven his coaching ability at ITM Cup and Japanese Top-League level, and we’re thrilled he is joining the Highlanders’ coaching team for 2014.  It’s also pleasing from a franchise-wide point of view that there is a clear coaching pathway from ITM Cup to Super Rugby level”

Tony will continue in his role as the Head Coach for the Otago ITM Cup team. The Highlanders begin their season with a home match at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday 22 February against the Blues.

Highlanders' 2014 Squad Announced

The Highlanders have announced today their 2014 squad to contest the 2014 Super Rugby title. The Highlanders have also confirmed that Ben Smith and Nasi Manu will lead the team in 2014 as co-captains.

The squad of 37 is made up of 32 players on full contract and also five players in the Wider Training Group. 23 players are returning from the 2013 season.  Kurt Baker returns to the Highlanders after a season with the Crusaders, and he is joined in the backs by Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland), Patrick Osborne (Canterbury), Bay of Plenty captain Willie Ripia, and Winston Stanley (Force).  In the forwards Tasman captain Shane Christie joins the southern franchise, alongside Pumas International Matias Diaz, Kane Hames (Bay of Plenty) and Otago players Tom Franklin and Gareth Evans.        

The Wider Training Group includes two Otago players in Lee Allan and Craig Miller, and also Richard Buckman (Hawke’s Bay), Trent Renata (Waikato) and Ged Robinson (Hawke’s Bay).

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, commented that the squad is well balanced and has depth across the board.

“We’re very pleased with the quality of players in our squad of 37 for next season. We have a core group of players returning from 2013, which allows continuity, but to have 14 new faces brings new ideas and enthusiasm”

Joseph also added that selecting Ben and Nasi was reflective of the approach the team would be taking to the 2014 Super Rugby season.

“As a coaching group, we’ve selected two players we know will lead from the front and who have the experience and respect of the whole squad.  The role of captain in a Super Rugby team is vital to the success of the team, and sharing the workload between two complementary players was a big part of our decision”

Ben Smith has played 72 games for the Highlanders since making his Super Rugby debut in 2009 against the Brumbies.  Smith has played 18 tests for the All Blacks and has recently been selected to travel with the team to the United Kingdom for the end of year tour.

Nasi Manu has played 49 Super Rugby games after making his debut in 2008 for the Crusaders.  Manu joined the Highlanders in 2010 and has played 33 games for the franchise.

The Highlanders begin their season with a home match at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday 22 February against the Blues.

Forwards
Josh Bekhuis, Shane Christie, Liam Coltman, Matias Diaz, Elliot Dixon, Gareth Evans, Ma’afu Fia, Tom Franklin, Kane Hames, John Hardie, Jarrad Hoeata, TJ Ioane, Chris King, Nasi Manu, Brayden Mitchell, Brad Thorn & Joe Wheeler.

Backs
Kurt Baker, Phil Burleigh, Jason Emery, Malakai Fekitoa, Patrick Osborne, Hayden Parker, Buxton Popoalii, Willie Ripia, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Winston Stanley, Fumiaki Tanaka, Shaun Treeby & Frae Wilson.

Wider Training Group
Lee Allan, Richard Buckman, Craig Millar, Trent Renata & Ged Robinson.

SANZAR Rugby News

January 23, 2014

Manikins, translators and future cops – Highlanders prepare for life

By SANZAR News Service

Rugby, for all of us, can seem like the centre of our universe, especially when that moment occurs where we experience the agony and ecstasy that comes with all the highs and lows that sport thrust upon us.

We of course wouldn't have it any other way.

For players, these emotions are often the ultimate reason for the sacrifices they are prepared to make for body, family, and at the highest pinnacle – their country.

Such peaks however can sometimes come with a dramatic nadir.

Especially when a rugby career begins a transition to what we might call, somewhat oddly, normal life.

Feeling down isn’t something that is solely reserved for players when reflecting on a loss, but it can come out of no-where as to others – especially those who have hung up the boots – never seem to be able to recreate that 80 minute intensity, that brotherhood on the training field, in day-to-day life.

This is where Peter Sinclair comes in, as the Highlanders' Personal Development Manager he is the individual who players rely to help them with preparing for life, both after and around rugby.

“It is about managing the period of adjustment,” the former teacher said.

“It takes a while to move away from a regimented rugby lifestyle, as life after sport becomes a lot more relaxed.

“And that isn’t always a good thing,” Sinclair laughed.

The off-field mentor has been part of the Otago and Highlanders rugby family since 2005, working on preparing players on every aspect, be it their career or just overall health.

It isn't always about education, as some player’s already boasted degrees while a couple have their own fully fledged businesses.

It was about helping with the “holistic” skills and abilities of the players.

So clearly, Peter is a master psychologist and guru?

“I’m no expert in those matters,” he said.

“Helping them away from the field is one thing, but it is most important to set them up during rugby recognising the value of support network.”

This is an area where Sinclair’s work, and long term approach, varies from the coaching staff.

“Once you have spent time with us, you are always part of the team,” he said.

“We like to think of it as lifetime membership.”

“While it is a natural part of a rugby career, or any profession for that matter, that players move on or are even picked up by other clubs, we will always keep in touch.

“There is always a handover (to a franchise or union equivalent of Peter) if they switch, with the players permission.

“You know at some stage they are going to go, but for all we know we may pick up this bloke again!”

So what has the squad been doing of late?

“Part of our focus for the overall well-being of the players is essential first aid training,” he said.

Successfully completing a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course, or CPR, is a required skill as a Highlander.

The entire squad attended, even the tight forwards were not exempt.

The sight of mammoth front rowers attended to CPR manikins was quite the sight, as was the steady stream of Spanish coming from one section of the training floor.

Matiaz Diaz, the Mendoza born tighthead, attended with his interpreter, although Sinclair did not think their presence would be required for too long.

“He is learning fast, he is a good bloke with no accent,” he said.

Peter wasn’t the only one happy with how successfully the training session went, with the final stages of the pre-season closing off for the Highlanders.

“The players were impressed, they found themselves very empowered,” he said.

“Having such skills help them develop, both in rugby and away from the field.”

Working hard away from the field wasn’t anything new for the Highlanders, with Sinclair saying that if anything the team had put in even more effort than recent seasons.

“It was hard,” he admitted of staying positive and united through some tough patches for the Highlanders.

“The intention and the hard work was there, it just didn’t happen for us.

“We’ve always done a very thorough review, and this year was no exception.

“You just have to do it; otherwise we can’t see were we might need to make changes and where we need to improve.”

However life continues, and a heavy period of training, seminar and assessment work comes to a close as the team looks to their pre-season.

“We’re treating them like full matches,” Sinclair said.

While the full bore aspect of the rugby season might be about to start, continuing the development of the players is paramount, with a few even getting a taste of life after the game, even if the stakes in their new potential professions could be even more intense.

“A few of the players, Joe Wheeler and Malakai Fekitoa, will undergo induction and be exposed to things they might experience as a police officer,” he said.

“This is a big part of what we do, if they express an interest, we start a process.”

A process that Peter has become an intricate and important part of, now entering his tenth year with the team, and while many players have passed through his doors, he still keeps in touch with most, while guiding the new generation where he can.

After all, there is more to life than rugby…

For original story (and pictures) please click here

 

KFC ANNOUNCES SUPER RUGBY SPONSORSHIP

KFC Image 2

KFC today announced its sponsorship of the five New Zealand Super Rugby teams in this year’s Investec Super Rugby competition, which kicks off on February 15.

Jamie McKaughan, KFC's general manager of operations, says as a long-time sponsor of the Condor Sevens the decision to support the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders was a “natural progression”, and one enthusiastically welcomed by KFC staff.

“We’re getting involved with Super Rugby because we’re huge fans ourselves”, says McKaughan. “KFC and rugby are Kiwi favourites. We’re both about gathering family and mates to enjoy something, whether it’s a meal or a great game.”

McKaughan wants to use his large network of stores and customers around the country to attract a younger and more diverse audience to the game.

All five New Zealand Super Rugby teams believe KFC's support will help to revitalise rugby for the youth market. KFC have a particularly high reach in the youth market, which the Super Rugby licensees say they are keen to better connect with. It is hoped that this partnership may help to grow more young rugby spectators and participants.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said "It’s exciting to have KFC join the Highlanders as a partner with their proven experience in sponsorship internationally. They will bring an extra element of fun and excitement to our rugby events. At the Highlanders we are all about providing our fans with an entertaining and fun filled experience and we know KFC can support us achieve this.”

KFC will show support for the teams in-store and out in the community, and via traditional and social media. All 98 KFC stores nationwide will be decked out in local team colours with staff also wearing limited-edition uniforms.

KFC's customers and 300 000+ Facebook fans can look forward to some great prizes and free game tickets and meals in exchange for showing support for their team.

“KFC’s offering some great activities and competitions throughout the season to help people get more involved, including our sponsorship of popular gaming apps Virtual Rugby and Fantasy Rugby, which will be combined and rebranded as Dream Team," said McKaughan.

KFC has a number of successful sponsorships, both locally and internationally including its sponsorship of New Zealand Surf Lifesaving.

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Restaurant Brands:
Rewa Willis, Sherson Willis Limited, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 021 248 3481
The Highlanders:
Amanda Gould, Media Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 021 223 8440

Media Release - Buxton Popoalii withdraws from 2014 Super Rugby season

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.


End.

University of Otago named as major Highlanders sponsor

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. 

 

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

Amanda Gould
Marketing Manager
Highlanders
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:
Players
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]

Staff
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

Highlanders announce official fuel supplier

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.

CHALLENGE 1CHALLENGE 2

Highlanders Named To Play Blues in Season Opener

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

Richard Buckman named to replace Buxton Popoalii

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

 

End.

Highlanders v Blues - Sat 22 Feb, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders emerged victorious over the Blues on Saturday night in front of a huge, noisy crowd at Forsyth Barr Stadium. The team got things off to the perfect start with Aaron Smith charging down a Chris Noakes clearance to score and Malakai Fekitoa dotting down following a huge bust from broken play 50 metres out. Ben Smith put his name on the scoreboard just out from halftime to give the Highlanders a healthy lead heading into the break. The Highlander's defence wasimpressive and they had the bulk of territory and possession in the first half.

homepage element test

test

Buxton Popoalii retires from all rugby

MEDIA RELEASE– Thursday 13th March 2014

Buxton Popoalii announces retirement 

Highlanders’ winger Buxton Popoalii has announced his retirement from all rugby. The popular Highlanders and Otago winger has recently undergone heart surgery to fix a heart valve. The problem was detected in early January and curtailed his 2014 season to just one appearance against the Crusaders in preseason.

Highlanders’ team Doctor Greg Macleod said today “due to the nature of the surgery, and what the surgeons were required to do to alleviate any ongoing issues, Buxton has been advised to stop playing rugby”. Popoalii who underwent surgery in Auckland last week, has been discharged from hospital and is recuperating well.

Highlanders’ CEO Roger Clark “This is obviously a tough time for Buxton and his family. While we are delighted the operation has gone well and the outlook for his health is positive, we are naturally feeling for him and respect and fully support his decision to retire from rugby. I know the team and management have great admiration for Bucky and wish him a speedy recovery from his operation.”

Popoalii played 15 games for the Highlanders making his debut against the Chiefs in 2012 and was known as an electric winger who possessed a big side-step and blistering pace off the mark.

Photo: After a successful surgery Bucky would like you to know that he is back on his feet and recovering well. Cheers Happy Feet, looking forward to seeing ya back home!#GodBless

 

Ends. 

Team named to play the Western Force

MEDIA RELEASE– Thursday 13 March 2014

Highlanders Named To Play the Western Force

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Force at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday night (7.35pm NZT).  

After a bye week the team is rearing to go against the Western Force, who are coming off a strong win against the Melbourne Rebels in the weekend. Kurt Baker gets his first start of the 2014 Super Rugby season on the left wing and will be a player to watch on Saturday night.

Highlanders v Western Force, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 15 March, 7.35pm (NZ Time).

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Liam Coltman
3 - Chris King
4 - Jarrad Hoeata
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - John Hardie
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 - Kurt Baker
12 - Shaun Treeby
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith(co-captain)

Reserves
16 - Ged Robinson
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - Craig Millar
19 - Josh Bekhuis
20 - Elliot Dixon
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Hayden Parker
23 - Phil Burleigh

Unavailable due to injury:

Brad Thorn (rib – 1 week), Patrick Osborne (ankle – 2 weeks)

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coach – Scott McLeod, Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod , Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

 

End.

 

 

Chiefs v Highlanders - 1 March, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

The Highlanders have gone down to the defending Super Rugby Champions in a tight game after being unable to hold out a fast finishing Chiefs in the second half.

Highlanders v Western Force - 15 March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Western Force hoodoo continues as the men from Western Australia came out victors in hard fought battle.

Highlanders v Hurricanes - 21 March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders are back in the winners circle after a scintillating game of running rugby. The first half was a typically tight contest between these two New Zealand sides, both teams not giving an inch on defence forcing a kicking contest for much of the half, with both sides trading penalties.

Blues v Highlanders - 29 March, Eden Park, Auckland

The Highlander's have suffered a defeat at the Eden Park over the weekend where they Blues have won the second match up of the 2014 Investec Super Rugby Season. The Highlanders had a wealth of possession and territory early on but were unable to convert the possession into points.

Highlanders named to play Rebels in Dunedin

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the team to play the Melbourne Rebels at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday night. After a disappointing loss in Auckland in the previous round the Highlanders will be looking to capitalise on the home ground advantage and secure a win against a team buoyant following an unexpected victory against 2013 semifinalists, the Brumbies.

A shuffle in the front row, due to in-form prop Kane Hames’ 1 week suspension for a dangerous charge, sees Chris King move into loosehead and Ma’afu Fia get his second start of the 2014 season in the tighthead position. Gareth Evans rounds out the loose forward trio for this round 8 match up while Shane Christie and Nasi Manu will be looking for another solid performance after proving to be a dynamic defensive duo on the field.

The backline sees Shaun Treeby and Kurt Baker back in the starting XV. Phil Burleigh is unavailable due to injury and utility back, Trent Renata, has been brought into the playing 23 as cover. This game will be extra special for half back Aaron Smith who will be playing his 50th Super Rugby game and 50th game in the Highlanders jersey.

Highlanders v Rebels, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 4th April, 7.35pm (NZ Time).

1 - Chris King
2 - Liam Coltman
3 - Ma’afu Fia
4 - Jarrad Hoeata
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Gareth Evans
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 – Kurt Baker
12 – Shaun Treeby
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith(co-captain)

Reserves
16 – Ged Robinson
17 – Craig Millar
18 – Matias Diaz
19 – Josh Bekhuis
20 – Elliot Dixon
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 – Trent Renata
23 – TJ Ioane


Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod

Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

Thorn to face off against Matfield at Forsyth Barr Stadium

Thorn to face off against Matfield at Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the team to play the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday night. Brad Thorn returns to the starting line-up and will face off against Victor Matfield in what is shaping up to be an exciting clash of the locking titans. Matfield is a former Springbok Captain with 110 test caps to his name and is a player and mentor in the Bulls environment. Both are known as hard men of rugby and will be out to prove they are as good as any of the younger players on the field.

After a close win against the Rebels in the previous round the Highlanders have made few changes to the starting line up in an effort to secure this round 9 win at home. Kane Hames returns from a one week suspension and moves back into the loosehead position, Brad Thorn moves into 4 while Jarrad Hoeata goes to the bench and Elliot Dixon will start in the Number 8 jersey with Co-Captain Nasi Manu in the reserves, also joining the reserves this week; John Hardie.

Patrick Osborne comes back on to the wing with Kurt Baker sidelined for six weeks after a tipping tackle in the Rebels game. The remainder of the backline stays unchanged for this last home game before the team heads to South Africa to play the Sharks and the Stormers.

Highlanders v Bulls, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 11th April, 7.35pm (NZ Time).
1. Kane Hames
2. Liam Coltman
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Gareth Evans
7. Shane Christie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Richard Buckman
15. Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves
16. Ged Robinson
17. Craig Millar
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Jarrad Hoeata
20. John Hardie
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Trent Renata
23. Nasi Manu (co-captain)

Unavailable due to injury: Phil Burleigh (shoulder – 1 week) and TJ Ioane (calf - 2 weeks)

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph
Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod
Skills Coach – Jon Preston
Manager – Graham Purvis

End.

Highlanders to play NZ Barbarians

MEDIA RELEASE        

Highlanders to play NZ Barbarians in Invercargill

 

The Highlanders will take on the New Zealand Barbarians at Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill at 6.30pm on Friday 20th June 2014 as they finalise their preparation for their final three round robin games of the 2014 Investec Super Rugby Competition. The New Zealand Barbarians led by President Bryan Williams are very keen to see the globally respected and highly recognisable Barbarian brand showcased in the deep South.

The Barbarians will be coached by Stags coach, Brad Mooar, and managed by Leicester Rutledge. Like traditional Barbarian teams there is likely to be an international flavour to the selection along with a number of promising Stags and players from other New Zealand provinces.

Jamie Joseph commented that “it will be great to get down to Invercargill and show the Southland people how we have progressed as a team since 2013. This is an important game for us as we build into our first game back after the June break against the Chiefs.”

There will be a Highlanders 1st XV competition curtain-raiser kicking off at 5pm between Menzies College and St. Peters College showcasing the school boy talent from around the region.

Members and sponsors will receive preferential ticketing from Friday 9th May and public sales will commence on Friday 23rd May. Tickets will be available online and from all Ticket Direct outlets.

Prices: Adults $20.00, Secondary school students (13-18 years) $10.00 and children under 12 years and under FREE.  

The Highlanders would like to thank Rugby Southland and the New Zealand Barbarians for helping them bring this game to Invercargill.

End.

Highlanders named to play Crusaders in Dunedin

 

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the team to play the Crusaders at home in Dunedin on Saturday night (5.35pm kick-off). After another hard-fought victoryover the Hurricanes in Wellington last weekend the team is preparing to face off against a Crusaders team hurting from a loss at home against the Sharks. The game will involve no fewer than fifteen players who attended this week’s All Black training camp. The annual South Island derby always provides an entertaining and hard fought spectacle and will be played in front of an expected 20,000 plus crowd.

Lima Sopoaga returns from an ankle injury to start at first-five and will be facing off against old team mate Colin Slade. Patrick Osborne also returns from an ankle injury and Malakai Fekitoa has been cleared to play after spending the week and All Black training camp in a moon boot. Liam Coltman is sidelined with a calf injury and expected to be available for selection next week when the Highlanders take on the Reds in Brisbane.

Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 24th May, 5.35pm

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Ged Robinson
3 - Chris King
4 - Jarrad Hoeata
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
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)

Reserves
16 – Sam Anderson-Heather
17 – Matias Diaz
18 – Ma’afu Fia
19 – Tom Franklin
20 – Gareth Evans
21 – Fumiaki Tanaka
22 – Hayden Parker
23 – Phil Burleigh

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod

Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

End.

Highlanders Named To Play the Reds in Brisbane

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the team to take on the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday. After a narrow loss to the Crusaders at home last weekend the Highlanders will be looking for a bonus point win against a weakened Reds side to keep their play-off hopes alive ahead of the June break.

Liam Coltman returns to the starting hooker position after having a week off following a calf strain received during their defeat of the Hurricanes. The remainder of the team is largely unchanged, Gareth Evans will start in the number 6 jersey and Elliot Dixon moves to the bench.

Following this Friday’s game the players selected for national teams will depart to join those teams and the remainder of the squad will disassemble for a week before returning to prepare for the Highlanders v NZ Barbarians game in Invercargill on Friday 20th June (kick-off 6.30pm).

Reds v Highlanders, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – Friday 30 May, 9.40pm (NZT)

1  - Kane Hames
2  - Liam Coltman
3  - Ma’afu Fia
4  - Jarrad Hoeata 
5  - Joe Wheeler
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)

Reserves
16 – Ged Robinson
17 – Matias Diaz

18 – Chris King
19 – Tom Franklin
20 – Elliot Dixon
21 – 
Fumiaki Tanaka
22 – Hayden Parker
23 – Phil Burleigh

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod  

Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

 

Highlanders and NZ Barbarians Squads Named

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the players included in the team to take on the NZ Barbarians at Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill on Friday 20 June. This game presents an opportunity for up and coming players to show the coaches what they are capable of and for those who have been resting over the June break to test their legs before the Highlanders take on the Chiefs in their final regular season home game at 7.35pm on Friday 27th June at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The Highlanders have named 26 players in the following positions:

Props: Kane Hames, Chris King, Ma’afu Fia and Scott Manson

Hookers: Liam Coltman and Ged Robinson

Locks: Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Bekhuis, Tom Franklin and Joey Wheeler

Loose Forwards:  Lee Allan, TJ Ioane, John Hardie and Elliot Dixon

Halfback: Frae Wilson and Scott Eade

First-five Eighths: Lima Sopoaga and Hayden Parker

Midfield/outside backs: Jason Emery, Shaun Treeby, Phil Burleigh, Winston Stanley, Jayden Spence, Richard Buckman, Gavin Stark and Trent Renata

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph, Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod, Skills Coach – Jon Preston and Manager – Graham Purvis.

The NZ Barbarians team coached by Southland Stags Head Coach, Brad Mooar, as always has a very cosmopolitan feel and is made up of ten Southland players, three Highlanders squad members, six players from the remainder of the South Island, two players from the North Island including Rico Gear and three Japanese players from the club Panasonic.

The NZ Barbarians have named 25 players in the following positions:

Props: Alex Hodgman, JP Keon, Morgan Mitchell and Ross Geldenhuys

Hookers: Brayden Mitchell and David Hall

Locks: Alex Ainley, Michael Fatialofa, You Youngman and Craig Smith

Loose Forwards: Gareth Evans, John Dampney and Bill Fukofuka

Halfback: Toby Morland, Nick Ealey

First-five Eighths: Willie Ripia and Broc Hooper

Midfield/outside Backs: Rico Gear, Tei Walden, Willis Halahalo, Yasutaka Sasakura, Keanu Kuhukura, Jamie Verran and Bryan Milne

Head Coach – Brad Mooar, Assistant Coaches – Hoani McDonald and Clarke Dermody and Managers – Leicester Rutledge and Mike Mannix.

The Highlanders take on the NZ Barbarians at 6.30pm Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill on Friday night. There is a curtain raiser between Highlanders 1st XV competition teams Menzies College and St Peters College kicking off at 5pm (gates open at 4.30pm). 

END

Highlanders Named To Play the Chiefs in Dunedin

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the team to take on the reigning champions the Chiefs in Dunedin on Friday. All three All Blacks along with Patrick Osborne, who joined the All Black’s squad as injury cover, have returned to the starting line-up and both Brayden Mitchell and Tom Franklin have played their way into the starting team after stellar performances in Invercargill against the Barbarians. Lee Allen comes onto the bench to cover for TJ Ioane who picked up an ankle injury during training this week.

A win is imperative for the Highlanders over the eighth placed Chiefs to enhance their play-off prospects. A good crowd is expected at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night to welcome Super Rugby back after the June test window.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin – Friday 27 June, 7.35pm (NZT)

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Brayden Mitchell
3 - Ma’afu Fia
4 - Tom Franklin
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
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)

Reserves
16 – Ged Robinson
17 – Matias Diaz
18 – Chris King
19 – Josh Bekhuis
20 – Lee Allan
21 – Fumiaki Tanaka
22 – Hayden Parker
23 – Phil Burleigh


Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod

Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

Injury update: Kurt Baker – hamstring (season), Craig Millar – shoulder (season), Buxton Popoalii – heart (season), Brad Thorn – bicep (season), Frae Wilson – knee (TBC – awaiting scan results) and John Hardie – knee (TBC – awaiting scan results).

End.

Highlanders Named To Play the Waratahs in Sydney

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to take on the current Investec Super Rugby leaders, the Waratahs, at home in Sydney on Sunday afternoon (4.05pm AT, 6.05pm NZT). The team is unchanged from the side that won against the Chiefs (29-25) in an exhilarating game at Forsyth Barr Stadium last Friday.

With only two games to go in the regular season the Highlanders currently sit fourth overall on the SANZAR table with the same points as the Crusaders in third (42).

Head Coach, Jamie Joseph commented that “we are not too concerned with how we have gone against the Waratahs in the past and our entire focus is on what we can do on Sunday. There is a real air of excitement about the group, they sense the opportunity we have earned for ourselves”.

Highlanders v Waratahs, Allianz Stadium, Sydney– Sunday 6th July, 4.05pm local time (6.05pm NZT)

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Brayden Mitchell
3 - Ma’afu Fia
4 - Tom Franklin
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
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)

Reserves
16 – Ged Robinson
17 – Matias Diaz
18 – Chris King
19 – Josh Bekhuis
20 – Lee Allan
21 – Fumiaki Tanaka
22 – Hayden Parker
23 – Phil Burleigh

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod  

Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

Injury update: Kurt Baker – hamstring (season), Craig Millar – shoulder (season), Buxton Popoalii – heart (season), Brad Thorn – bicep (season), Frae Wilson – knee (season) and John Hardie – knee (season).

End.

Highlanders Named To Play the Crusaders in Round 19 Clash

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to take on the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday night (7.35pm NZT). There are four changes to the team that started against the Waratahs in Sydney last week. Unfortunately Co-Captain Ben Smith will not be in the playing 23 as he continues to recover from a leg infection that saw him hospitalised for three days following last weekend’s game. This will be the first Highlanders game Smith has missed since April 2012.

The front row has two changes with Liam Coltman rejoining the starting XV as hooker and Chris King coming back onto the tighthead side of the scrum. Hayden Parker will start in the playmaker position of first five, Trent Renata replaces Smith at fullback and Gareth Evans rounds out the bench as loosie cover.

As they enter the final round of the regular season the Highlanders are still in the hunt for a play-off and a win against the Crusaders would help solidify that position.

Crusaders v Highlanders, AMI Stadium, Christchurch – Saturday 12th July, 7.35pm (NZT)
1 - Kane Hames
2 - Liam Coltman
3 - Chris King
4 - Tom Franklin
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (Captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Hayden Parker
11 - Patrick Osborne
12 - Shaun Treeby
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Trent Renata

Reserves
16 - Ged Robinson
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - JP Koen
19 - Josh Bekhuis
20 - Gareth Evans
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Lima Sopoaga
23 - Phil Burleigh

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph |Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod| Skills Coach – Jon Preston
Manager – Graham Purvis

Injury update: Kurt Baker – hamstring (season), Craig Millar – shoulder (season), Buxton Popoalii – heart (season), Brad Thorn – bicep (season), Frae Wilson – knee (season), John Hardie – knee (season), Ma’afu Fia illness (TBC) and Ben Smith – leg infection (1 week).

End. 

Highlanders team announced to take on Sharks in Investec Super Rugby play-offs

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to take on the Sharks in Durban on Saturday night (3.05am Sunday 20th July NZT) in the Investec Super Rugby playoffs. This will be the Highlanders’ second visit to the shark tank for 2014 and the team will be hoping to produce another stellar performance like the round 11 match-up that saw the Highlanders’ win 34-18.

Co-Captain, Ben Smith, returns to the starting line-up after illness saw him miss the final regular season clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch last weekend. There are two changes to the forward pack; Ged Robinson to start at number 2 and Jarrad Hoeata at 4 (Hoeata travelled from Dunedin on Sunday to join the team in Auckland before they flew out to Sydney) which sees Tom Franklin move to the bench. In the backline Lima Sopoaga has been recalled to the playmaker position of first-five and will be partnering with Phil Burleigh at second-five. Trent Renata moves back to the bench as utility cover.

The Highlanders have had a tough road to the play-offs after playing the top two teams in the competition in consecutive weeks on the road but are feeling good and looking forward to their first play-off game since 2002.

Sharks v Highlanders, Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban – Saturday 19th July, 5.05pm local time (3.05am NZT, 1.05am AEST)
1 - Kane Hames
2 - Ged Robinson
3 - Chris King
4 - Jarrad Hoeata
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (Co-Captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 - Patrick Osborne
12 - Phil Burleigh
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith (Co-Captain)

Reserves
16 - Liam Coltman
17 - Matias Diaz
18 - JP Koen
19 - Josh Bekhuis
20 - Tom Franklin
21 - Fumiaki Tanaka
22 - Trent Renata
23 - Gareth Evans

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod Skills Coach – Jon Preston
Manager – Graham Purvis

Any post match media requests need to be sent to Amanda (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 4pm Friday 18th July.
End.

For further information contact: Amanda Gould 021 223 8440.

Aaron Smith re-signs with the Highlanders

After much speculation in the media the Highlanders are happy to announce today that Aaron Smith has re-signed with the Highlanders for two more years through to the end of the Super Rugby season in 2016.

Smith said “I love living and playing rugby in Dunedin, it’s my home and I couldn’t think of a better place to be. I love the team and can’t wait to get back out on the field in front of our home fans in 2015”.  Smith has been in outstanding form all year and is considered by many to be one of the best halfbacks in the world today and played an important part in helping the Highlanders get into the play-offs for the first time in 12 years. 

Highlanders General Manager, Roger Clark, commented, “there has been a lot of speculation over the past weeks regarding Aaron’s future.  I want to emphasise that Aaron has been fully committed to the Highlanders from the beginning of our negotiations and did not considered another Super Rugby Team at any stage. The reason the NZR and Highlanders’ announcements of Aaron recommitting didn’t coincide was due purely to the process the Highlanders needed to go through internally for sign off. It is great to be able to officially confirm Aaron will be a Highlander for the two years, we have made great progress as a team this past season and as a senior player Aaron is vital to the continuation of that success.

Check out the link to see Aaron Smith announcing his re-signing; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wYYIC1pOjw

End.

 

Smith & Smith retain starting positions for first South African test

Highlanders, Aaron Smith and Ben Smith, have been named in the starting XV to take on the Springboks in Wellington.  

The All Blacks team to play South Africa in the highly-anticipated Investec Rugby Championship match in Wellington this weekend has been named.

The All Blacks will play South Africa for the first time this year at Westpac Stadium on Saturday 13 September (kick-off: 7.35PM NZT live on SKY TV).
The team is (with Test caps in brackets):

Starting XV:
1. Wyatt Crockett (30)
2. Dane Coles (21)
3. Owen Franks (60)
4. Brodie Retallick (30)
5. Jeremy Thrush (6)
6. Steven Luatua (12)
7. Richie McCaw (c) (130)
8. Kieran Read (65)
9. Aaron Smith (32)
10. Aaron Cruden (34)
11. Julian Savea (25)
12. Ma'a Nonu (93)
13. Conrad Smith (79)
14. Ben Smith (32)
15. Israel Dagg (40)

Reserves:
16. Keven Mealamu (116)
17. Joe Moody (2)
18. Ben Franks (34)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (2)
20. Sam Cane (17)
21. TJ Perenara (6)
22. Beauden Barrett (22)
23. Cory Jane (50)

The changes to the team which beat Argentina on the weekend are mainly injury-related, with Jeremy Thrush coming in at lock and Steven Luatua at blindside flanker for the injured Sam Whitelock and Liam Messam respectively, with Patrick Tuipulotu on the bench.

Meanwhile, Aaron Cruden has recovered from his chest injury to take his place in the number 10 jersey, with Beauden Barrett moving to the bench. Cory Jane also comes into the match day squad as outside back cover.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "This week we have to find a desperation and hunger in our performance because we know that that is something the South Africans will be bringing after their loss to Australia. As well they have already stated they have a desire to get a win against us."

"After two wonderful matches last year, I know our guys are really looking forward to this match. We have the utmost respect for South Africa and looking forward to Saturday night."

Several players will reach personal milestones this weekend.

All Blacks prop Owen Franks will become the third most capped All Blacks prop of all time: he has played 60 Tests and is currently equal with Craig Dowd, with Greg Somerville second on 66 and Tony Woodcock out in front on 110 Tests.

Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu will equal the record for a midfield partnership this weekend when they play their 55th Test together. Smith will also play his 80th Test this weekend, overtaking Ian Jones to become the 10th most capped All Black of all time. Nonu, who will play his 94th Test this weekend, is the sixth most capped All Black.

Meanwhile, Aaron Cruden heads into the weekend on 99 points scored in the Investec Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other 87 times, with 50 wins to the All Blacks, 34 to the Springboks and three draws. The last two matches between the two sides in last year's Investec Rugby Championship saw the All Blacks win 29-15 in Auckland and the epic Johannesburg Test 38-27.

The Investec Rugby Championship - All Blacks Tests
1. Australia, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Saturday 16 August. All Blacks 12 Australia 12
2. Australia, Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 23 August. All Blacks 51 Australia 20
3. Argentina, McLean Park, Napier, Saturday 6 September. All Blacks 28 Argentina 9 4. South Africa (Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35PM, Saturday 13 September)
5. Argentina (Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, 7.10PM, Sat 27 September)
6. South Africa (Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 5.05PM, Saturday 4 October)


For further information contact:

Joe Locke
All Blacks Media Manager
M: +64 (0)27 441 8461
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Juli Clausen
Senior Media Advisor
D: +64 (0)4 474 7276
M: +64 (0)27 570 70 45
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2015 Investec Super Rugby Draw Announced

The Highlanders start to the 2015 Super Rugby season in the second round due to a bye in round one. This will be the only time the fans and the team has to relax in this condensed Investec Super Rugby season where round robin games conclude on Saturday 13th June due to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The bye is followed with a block of six games; five of those being at home with the Crusaders first up, then Reds, Chiefs away and Waratahs, Hurricanes and Stormers at home at Forsyth Barr Stadium, and then well-earned rest in the form of a bye in week eight. The Highlanders will need to make the most of the bye as they head into the second half of the competition with 10 games on-the-trot, restarting with Crusaders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

The ANZAC Centenary celebrations will take place during round 11 when the Highlanders play the Brumbies in the Australian capital, Canberra.  They will then return to Dunedin to play the Sharks before heading to South Africa in round 13 to begin their South African tour; starting in Johannesburg against the Lions and then Bloemfontein to play the Cheetahs. The Highlanders stop in Perth to play the Force on their way back to New Zealand and then line against the Chiefs for their final home game. Due to FIFA under 20 World Cup commitments at Forsyth Barr Stadium this game will be played at an alternate venue still to be confirmed.

The Highlanders’ 2015 Super Rugby regular season finishes up with two New Zealand derbies against the Hurricanes and the Blues in Wellington and Auckland before the finals series begin. The Highlanders will be looking to build on an exciting 2014 season.

Season tickets are on sale now, if you would like to get in a secure your seat by becoming a member in 2015 please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Draw image

Highlanders To Kick Off 2015 Season in Timaru

 

highlanders v crusaders 0085

 

Photo credit: Chris Sullivan/Seen in Dunedin - Highlanders v Crusaders , Forsyth Barr Stadium, 24 May 2014

The Highlanders will play their first pre-season game of 2015 in Timaru on 24th January.  It will be a South Island derby against the Crusaders.  Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said they are excited to be getting the 2015 season started with this

classic southern clash. “There is nothing our fans love more than a Highlanders vs Crusaders clash, and to have the game so close to home is a bonus. We also kick off the regular competition with a game against the Crusaders on 21 February, so the fierce but friendly rivalry between these teams will be in full flight in 2015,” Mr Clark said.

Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said it is fitting that the game will be played halfway between the two teams’ home bases. “The Crusaders and Highlanders traditionally meet in the pre-season and it is always a fiercely contested and exciting game.  Having the game in Timaru next year, which is within the Crusaders catchment area but very close to the Highlanders region, is great news for fans of both teams.  We are hopeful that we will get a good turnout of both Crusaders and Highlanders fans to this game, which would be a great way to kick the season off,” Mr Riach said. “We are grateful to the South Canterbury Rugby Union for agreeing to host the game and we know from previous games that we’ve held in Timaru that they’ll do a fantastic job of it.”

South Canterbury RFU Chairman Brent Isbister said the Union is delighted to be bringing a pre-season game to Timaru.

The Highlanders play two additional pre-season games in Australia against the Brumbies and the Rebels before starting the 2015 Investec Super Rugby Season in Round 2 against the Crusaders at home on Saturday 21 February. 

 Draw image

END

Highlanders Bolster Forward Stocks for 2015

The Highlanders have announced the following players are to make the move south in 2015 to reinforce the forward pack. Props Edmonds, Geldenhuys, Hohneck and Tala’apitaga will provide much needed depth in the front after injuries and suspensions tested the Highlanders in 2014 while Dixon, Pryor and Reddish will come in with 143 games of ITM cup experience and seven seasons of Super Rugby between them.

Tanaka to rejoin the Highlanders for another season

The Highlanders are pleased to announce Japanese international, Fumiaki Tanaka, will be returning to play for the Highlanders for the 2015 season. Tanaka’s signing will see him return to Dunedin for his third consecutive Super Rugby season.

Highlanders Assistant Coach, Tony Brown, commented, “It's great to have Fumi back with the Highlanders, he is a quality halfback who plays with outstanding skill and speed. He loves playing for the Highlanders and is a great team man with a big heart.”

Highlanders sign experience and excitement

The Highlanders have announced three more signings this week. Experienced Tasman Lock Alex Ainley, competition leading point’s scorer Marty Banks and explosive Taranaki winger Waisake Naholo. Ainley has had a strong season with the Makos after returning to ITM Cup rugby in 2013 after three seasons with the Mitsubishi Dynabours in Japan. Ainley is a hardworking lock who has been in the engine room of a successful forward pack this season.

Highlanders announce 2015 squad

The Highlanders have announced today their squad to contest the 2015 Investec Super Rugby title.

The squad of 38 is made up of 32 players on full contract and also six players in the Wider Training Group. 22 players are returning from the 2014 season. The front row has been reinforced with the additions of props Pingi Tala’apitaga (BOP), Ross Geldenhuys (Tasman), Josh Hohneck (Waikato), Brendon Edmonds (Hawke’s Bay) and hooker Ash Dixon (Hawke’s Bay). Alex Ainley (Tasman) and Mark Reddish (Wellington) have been added to the lock stocks and loose forward Dan Pryor (Northland) rounds out the new forwards.

Waisake Naholo (Taranaki) and Marty Banks (Tasman) are the only new players in the backs and both had stand-out ITM Cup seasons.

Highlanders finalise coaching roster

The Highlanders are pleased to announce they have finalised their coaching roster with the appointment today of Clarke Dermody as the Scrum and Assistant Forwards Coach on a fulltime basis for the upcoming 2015 Investec Super Rugby Season. Dermody will relocate to Dunedin for the duration of the 2015 Investec Super Rugby season.

Alex Ainley

AlexAinley

Alex
Ainley

#238

Lock

Marty Banks

Marty Banks

Marty
Banks

#231

First five-eighth

Ash Dixon

Ash Dixon

Ash
Dixon

#228

Hooker

Brendon Edmonds

Brendon Edmonds

Brendon
Edmonds

#232

Prop

Waisake Naholo

WaisakeNaholo

Waisake
Naholo

#227

Outside Back

Tevita Li

Tevita Li 01

Tevita
Li

#227

Wing

Dan Pryor

Dan Pryor

Dan
Pryor

#230

Loose Forward

Josh Renton

Josh Renton

Josh
Renton

#237 

Halfback

Josh Dickson

Josh Dickson 01

Josh
Dickson

 

Lock

Fletcher Smith

Fletcher Smith 01

Fletcher
Smith

 #253

First five-eighth

Teihorangi Walden

TeihorangiWalden

Teihorangi
Walden

 #243

Midfield Back 

James Lentjes

JamesLentjes

James
Lentjes

#235

Loose forward

Daniel Lienert-Brown

Daniel Lienert-Brown

Daniel
Lienert-Brown

#234

Prop

Rob Thompson

RobThompson

Rob
Thompson

#247

Midfield back

Luke Whitelock

LukeWhitelock

Luke
Whitelock

#245

Loose Forward/No8

Liam Squire

LiamSquire

Liam
Squire

#242

Loose Forward

Siate Tokolahi

Siate Tokolahi 01

Siate
Tokolahi

#

Loose Forward

Patelesio Tomkinson

Sio Tompkinson 01

Patelesio
Tomkinson

 #

Midfield Back 

Highlanders get visit from the French

Tuesday 13th January 2015

Marc dal Maso

Frenchman Marc Dal Maso is spending some time with the Highlanders during their preseason. Dal Maso , who is credited by Japanese coach Eddie Jones with having turned their scrum into one of the top five in the world, has been broadening his knowledge with the Highlanders coaching group. 

Dal Maso met the Highlanders coaches during their recent short off season visit to Japan, that meeting led to the opportunity for some professional development in New Zealand.

While his methods are at times a little unconventional - try having the scrum coach standing on top of the scrum for size - he has plenty of scrum experience of his own to draw on. Dal Maso played 33 times for his country from 1987 – 2000, including the 1999 World Cup final.

Since finishing his playing career in 2003 Dal Maso has had various coaching positions; taking up a role with the Japanese national team in 2013.

End

Profiling New Highlander - Ryan Tongia

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Spontaneous Moments Photography LtdCopyright 2014080

 

It's something many sportsmen attempt, many of whom fail.

The switch from rugby league to rugby union.

A handful of players have made successful code switches in the past, namely Sonny Bill-Williams and Israel Folau.

One player who has tasted success in his switch from league to union is new Highlanders recruit Ryan Tongia.

Bursting onto the New Zealand domestic rugby scene in 2014, Tongia became a key member of the Hawke's Bay side that won the Ranfurly Shield and he  was also the top try scorer in last seasons ITM Cup, scoring 10 tries.

The 24 year-old's rise through the rugby union ranks is not your usual story of a player switching from rugby league, however.

Born in Brisbane, Australia, Tongia became a schoolboy rugby league star while playing for Clair Vaux Mackillop College in Brisbane.  He played with and against the likes of Wallabies James O'Connor and Matt Toomua during his schoolboy days on the rugby league field.

Tongia was signed by the Gold Coast Titans once he left school, spending two years playing for their under-20 side in 2008 and 2009.

After signing for the Cronoulla Sharks in 2010, the outside back, who is most familiar with playing on the wing, was selected to play for Papua New Guinea in the 2010 Four Nations tournament - a place where he spent time growing up as a child, due to his parents who were born there.

The chance to play with and rub shoulders against the best league players in the world was the definite highlight of his league career, Tongia said.

"We played against New Zealand, Australia and England; I'd say it was the highlight," he said.

In search of more regular game time, Tongia left the Sharks and headed to The English Super League where he signed on with Wakefield for the 2011 season.

In mid 2012 Tongia made the decision to head back to Brisbane for personal reasons.

He tried his luck to secure an NRL contract upon arriving back in Australia, however was unable to secure a deal with any team.

At a crossroads in his career, Tongia made the decision to switch to rugby union in late 2013.

He took part in the Noosa International sevens tournament at the end of 2013, impressing enough to be invited to the Australian sevens training camp.

"That kind of got me interested in the whole rugby thing."

"After tasting that (Australian sevens camp) I had more of a desire to play in the 15 man game."

With his name starting to gather some momentum in rugby union circles, Tongia approached the  Queensland Reds in search of an opportunity to play Super Rugby, or at least be a part of the squad, however he was told they were not interested in acquiring his services.

Not being wanted by his home franchise had left Tongia disappointed.

"The Reds weren't interested, it kind of left me dumbfounded," Tongia said.

Intent on still trying to make it in the world of professional rugby, he went about pursuing opportunities in New Zealand.

After a few enquiries Tongia made his way to Hawke's Bay in June 2014 to try and gain a place in the Hawke's Bay ITM Cup team.

Arriving with no guarantee of a contract, Tongia came to Napier needing to prove himself in club rugby to gain a contract with the Magpies.

"After four club games I was invited to come and train with the Hawke's Bay squad," he said.

Tongia impressed enough to gain a Hawke's Bay contract soon after arriving.

The outside back went from strength to strength in the 2014 ITM Cup,  playing well enough to catch the attention of Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph.

"After the final shield game I got a phone call from Jamie saying he was keen to have me on board for the 2015 season as a member of the wider-training squad," Tongia said.

Tongia has also signed on for the Highlanders for the 2016 season and has relocated south bringing with him his partner Rachel.

He is also father to his son Makaio, 5, who is based in Australia with his mother but comes across the Tasman to see Tongia on a regular basis.

"They (Rachel and Makaio) are both two reasons why I want to give it a crack and do well over here."

 

By: Scott Eade

Highlanders Squad To Take On Crusaders

Spontaneous Moments Photography LtdCopyright 2014048

The Highlanders will take on the Crusaders at 2.30pm on Saturday at the Alpine Energy Stadium in Timaru. This will be their first of three preseason matches in 2015. Next week the squad leaves for a two match tour of Australia to play the Brumbies and the Rebels in Wagga Wagga and Melbourne.

Highlanders Game Squad

1.       Josh Hohneck

2.       Liam Coltman

3.       Ross Geldenhuys

4.       Tom Franklin

5.       Mark Reddish

6.       James Lentjes

7.       John Hardie

8.       Elliot Dixon

9.       Scott Eade

10.   Lima Sopoaga

11.   Waisake Naholo

12.   Shaun Treeby

13.   Jason Emery

14.   Ryan Tongia

15.   Kurt Baker

16.   Kane Hames

17.   Nasi Manu

18.   Pingi  Ta’alapitaga

19.   Joe Latta

20.   Alex Ainley

21.   Liam Howley

22.   Hayden Parker

23.   Teihorangi Walden

24.   Trent Renata

25.   Sam Anderson Heather

26.   Michael Collins

END (For further information contact:Amanda Gould on 021 223 8440.)

Team named for round 3 clash against the Reds

 stadium

Photo credit: Chris Sullivan, Seen In Dunedin (Highlanders v Crusaders, Saturday 21st Febraury)

 

Jamie Joseph has named his team for this Friday’s clash against the St George Queensland Reds. The line-up includes several changes from their second round loss to the Crusaders; prop, Brendon Edmonds, will make his debut for the Highlanders with Josh Hohneck moving to the bench and Liam Coltman and Joe Wheeler make way for Ash Dixon and Mark Reddish in the starting XV. In the backs Marty Banks will make his playing debut coming in at first-five for Lima Sopoaga who is unavailable for this match due to family reasons. Hayden Parker and Kurt Baker are also named in the starting 23 for the first time this season.

Highlanders v Reds, Friday 27th February 7.35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin

1.     Brendon Edmonds

2.     Ash Dixon

3.     Ross Geldenhuys

4.     Tom Franklin

5.     Mark Reddish

6.     Elliot Dixon

7.     John Hardie

8.     Nasi Manu (co-Captain)

9.     Aaron Smith

10.   Marty Banks

11.   Patrick Osborne

12.   Jason Emery

13.   Malakai Fekitoa

14.   Waisake Naholo

15.   Ben Smith (co-Captain)

 

Reserves

16.   Liam Coltman

17.   Josh Hohneck

18.   Ma'afu Fia

19.   Joe Wheeler

20.   Dan Pryor

21.   Fumiaki Tanaka

22.   Hayden Parker

23.   Kurt Baker

 

Unavailable for selection: Pingi Tala’apitaga (knee), Shane Christie (knee), Richard Buckman (knee), Kane Hames (suspended)

 

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

END 

Highlanders named to take on Brumbies in Wagga Wagga

Coach Jamie Joseph has named a 28 man squad to take on the Brumbies in Wagga Wagga on Saturday night (7.00pm local time). The squad features most of the players who didn't take the field during last week’s first pre-season win against the Crusaders in Timaru. Only the injured Richard Buckman, Ash Dixon and Marty Banks are yet to play and are in the party travelling to Australia. Following the game in Wagga Wagga the team will travel to Melbourne for their final pre-season game against the Melbourne Rebels on Thursday 5th of February.  Internationals Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Malaki Fekitoa and Fumiaki Tanaka are unavailable at this stage.

1. Brendon Edmonds

2. Liam Coltman
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Alex Ainley
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Gareth Evans
7. Shane Christie
8. Nasi Manu (C)
9. Scott Eade
10. Hayden Parker
11. Waisake Naholo
12. Jason Emery
13. Shaun Treeby
14. Patrick Osborne
15. Trent Renata

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Sam Anderson-Heather
17. Josh Hohneck
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Mark Reddish
20. Joe Latta
21. Dan Pryor
23. John Hardie
24. Josh Renton
25. Lima Sopoaga
26. Teihorangi Walden
27. Michael Collins
28. Ryan Tongia

END.

Highlanders v Rebels - Final Pre-Season Hit Out

Shane Christie will captain the Highlanders' as they complete their two match preseason tour of Australia, and final 2015 pre-season game, against the Rebels tomorrow night at Ashwood Reserve, Melbourne. The team will be looking for their third win during the pre-season window and will again employ a squad of 28 for the match. Kick-off at 6.30pm (8.30pm NZT).

Fumiaka Tanaka will rejoin the Highlanders for his first pre-season game after meeting the team in Melbourne on his way back to New Zealand following the completion of the Japanese National Competition. 

1. Kane Hames
2. Ash Dixon
3. Ross Geldenhuys
4. Mark Reddish
5. Tom Franklin
6. Dan Pryor
7. Shane Christie (C)
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Josh Renton
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Jason Emery
13. Teihorangi Walden
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Kurt Baker

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Brendon Edmonds
17. Liam Coltman
18. Pingi Ta'alapitaga
19. Joe Wheeler
20. Alex Ainley
21. Gareth Evans
22. John Hardie
23. Nasi Manu
24. Fumiaka Tanaka
25. Marty Banks
26. Michael Collins
27. Ryan Tongia
28. Trent Renata

END

First Highlanders team of 2015 named to take on Crusaders

CRU small

After a first round bye Highlanders’ coach Jamie Joseph has named his team for the big South Island clash against the Crusaders on Saturday night in Dunedin. As with last season the team will be co-captained by Nasi Manu and Ben Smith. Joseph has selected from a near fully fit squad with just Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (knee) and Pingi Tala’apitaga (knee) unavailable due to injury. There are 7 players set to make their Highlander debuts including Josh Hohneck, Ross Geldenhuys and Waisake Naholo in the starting lineup.

This game is set to be a thriller as the Highlanders will look to right the wrongs of 2014 after losing to the Crusaders in the dying minutes as a try in the corner was disallowed by the TMO. 

Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr, Dunedin – Saturday 21st Febraury 7.35pm (NZT)

1. Josh Hohneck
2. Liam Coltman
3. Ross Geldenhuys
4. Tom Franklin
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Elliot Dixon
7. John Hardie
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)
16. Ash Dixon
17. Kane Hames
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Mark Reddish
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Jason Emery
23. Marty Banks

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

End 

University of Otago Alumni Highlanders Club

UO TD Tile

University of Otago Alumni Highlanders Club

The University of Otago has nurtured some of the best rugby talent around, from Highlanders and Otago players to Maori All Blacks, Black Ferns and All Blacks. 

Join us to celebrate the old and the new! 

$60 a year gives you: 
o A special University of Otago Alumni Highlanders Membership Card 
o An exclusive video message from a coach on the day of the game, based around game plan. 
o Exclusive video content post-match from a player on the game, based around match review. 
o Exclusive invitations to pre-match hospitality events at away games in New Zealand and Australia. 
o Exclusive invitations to meet the team events at away games in New Zealand and Australia. 
o All official Highlanders media releases prior to public release. 
o 20% discount on tickets to all Highlanders home games in Dunedin (tickets must be purchased at the stadium or other Ticket Direct outlet). 

By signing up you will enable the Highlanders to retain and attract players for the upcoming seasons, AND $5 from every membership will be donated to the University of Otago Rugby Club Foundation for their Scholarship Fund.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW

 

Highlanders Team To Play Chiefs In Hamilton

High v Chiefs

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Highlanders have made five personnel changes and one positional change to the starting forward pack to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton this Friday. Josh Hohneck, Liam Coltman and Ma’afu Fia comprise the new look front row with Fia making his first starting team this season. Tom Franklin who has started both games game will make his impact from the bench as Joe Wheeler and Mark Reddish combine in the middle row. Gareth Evans earns his first appearance in 2015 on the blindside with Elliot Dixonshifting to the openside role.

In the backs, Lima Sopoaga returns after a one week break and combines with Shaun Treeby in the midfield. Marty Banks, who made his debut last week, returns to the bench with Jason Emery.

Chiefs v Highlanders, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton – Friday 6th March ,7.35pm (NZT)
1. Josh Hohneck
2. Liam Coltman
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Mark Reddish
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Gareth Evans
7. Elliot Dixon
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. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Tom Franklin
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable: Pingi Tala’apitaga (knee), Shane Christie (knee), Richard Buckman (knee), Kane Hames (suspended)

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

End

 

Highlanders Named To Take On Defending Champs

HIG v CHI

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

After an exciting win in Hamilton last weekend the Highlanders have made a few changes to the starting XV for their round five clash against defending champions, NSW Waratahs. Elliot Dixon moves to six, after a strong game last week, to make way for Shane Christie who will be making his 2015 Super Rugby debut after recieving a knee injury in the final of the ITM Cup last year. Tom Franklin comes back into the starting lineup after impressing off the bench and a reshuffle in the front row sees Ross Geldenhuys start while Pingi Tala’apitaga moves on to the bench to cover for Ma’afu Fia who received a knee injury during last week’s game.  

The backline is unchanged for both the starting team and the reserves.

Highlanders v NSW Waratahs, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 14th March, 7.35pm (NZT)

1.   Josh Hohneck

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Ross Geldenhuys

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie

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. Ash Dixon

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Pingi Tala’apitaga

19. Mark Reddish

20. John Hardie

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Jason Emery

 

Unavailable: Richard Buckman (knee), Ma’afu Fia (knee), Dan Pryor (concussion), Kane Hames (suspended)

 

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

End

Highlander's team to play the Hurricanes

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

 

Bender's Shout - kids go free to Stormers game

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

Highlander Heads to Scotland

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

Highlanders team to play the Stormers

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 team named for Crusaders clash

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 named to play Blues at home

HIG v CYU

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has freshened his forward pack for the clash against the Blues this Saturday. Ash Dixon and Liam Coltman rotate, with Coltman in the starting XV after two games off the bench.  Mark Reddish earns his third start for the season with Tom Franklin moving to the bench. Brendon Edmonds makes way for Kane Hames who returns to the starting team following five weeks on suspension and a few rounds of club rugby.

Jason Emery will start at second-five ahead of Shaun Treeby who takes a break and Richard Buckman is included in the starting 23 for the first time after being injured in the preseason.

The Highlanders will also be playing in special jersey's this week as we celebrate the annual BNZ Plunket Charity round. There will be some 'new names' on the field who are all New Zealand children who have won a unique charity initiative that was developed by BNZ to raise awareness and funds for Plunket during this weekend's Super Rugby round, and supporters had the chance to bid for jerseys on Trade Me or enter a ballot online.

Highlanders v Blues , Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 18th April, 7.35pm (NZT)
1.  Kane Hames
2.  Liam Coltman
3.  Josh Hohneck
4.  Mark Reddish
5.  Joe Wheeler
6.  Elliot Dixon
7.  James Lentjes
8.  Nasi Manu ( co-C )
9.  Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Jason Emery
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith ( co-C )

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Pingi Tala’apitaga
19. Tom Franklin
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Richard Buckman

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Ross Geldenhuys (thumb), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), John Hardie (ankle)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

END

 

Highlanders Team Named to Take on Brumbies

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has overhauled his team for this Friday’s game against the Brumbies, making six changes to the side that beat the Blues. All three Highlander All Blacks have been omitted as the Highlanders fulfil the obligation to rest their All Blacks for at least two games this season. Added to that a mounting injury list including seven forwards unavailable for this fixture means that the Highlanders’ depth will certainly be put to the test in Canberra.

Pingi Tala’apitaga earns a start with Josh Hohneck moving to the bench. Tom Franklin returns to the starting team for the injured Mark Reddish. In the backs Trent Renata will make his 2015 debut at fullback while, Japanese international, Fumiaki Tanaka replaces Aaron Smith at halfback. Shaun Treeby and Richard Buckman will combine for the first time in the midfield. Gareth Evans returns to the playing 23 on the reserves bench that features a 6:2 split with lock Joe Latta and halfback Josh Renton poised to make their Super Rugby debuts.

Both teams’ jerseys will feature poppies in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli and Anzac Day.

Brumbies v Highlanders, GIO Stadium, Canberra – Friday 24th April, 9.55pm* (NZT)
*delayed start time due to ANZAC commemorations

1. Kane Hames
2. Liam Coltman
3. Pingi Tala’apitaga
4. Tom Franklin
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Elliot Dixon
7. James Lentjes
8. Nasi Manu (C)
9. Fumiaki Tanaka
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Richard Buckman
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Trent Renata

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Josh Hohneck
19. Joe Latta
20. Gareth Evans
21. Dan Pryor
22. Josh Renton
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Ross Geldenhuys (thumb), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), John Hardie (ankle), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Alex Ainley (jaw), Mark Reddish (ankle)

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

END

Highlanders named to play Sharks in round 12 clash

This week Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made four changes to the starting forward pack following the loss to Brumbies on the road in round 11. Josh Hohneck returns to tighthead prop, Mark Reddish has recovered from injury to replace Joe Wheeler who suffered a grade 3 MCL tear last week and both Gareth Evans and Dan Pryor make the starting team. The Highlanders three All Blacks, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Malakai Fekitoa return to the field after their one round rest and the versatile Richard Buckman comes into the second-five position to cover for Shaun Treeby.

Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Friday 1st May, 7.35pm (NZT)

1.   Kane Hames

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Mark Reddish

6.   Gareth Evans

7.   Dan Pryor

8.   Nasi Manu (co-Captain)

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Richard Buckman

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith (co-Captain)

 

Reserves:

16. Ash Dixon

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Pingi Tala’apitaga

19. Joe Latta

20. Elliot Dixon

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Jason Emery

 

Unavailable:  Shane Christie (hamstring), Ross Geldenhuys (thumb), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), John Hardie (ankle), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Alex Ainley (jaw),  Shaun Treeby (ankle), Joe Wheeler (knee)

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

 

End 

Round 2 - Highlanders v Crusaders, 21 Feb, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin


After a back and forth first quarter, Slade opened the scoring with a penalty only for the Highlanders to strike back soon after the resumption via an Aaron Smith try after he found space 5 metres out from a ruck. But as it always is in these games, it wasn't long before the Crusaders found their reply after Scott Barrett burrowed over the line following an extended period of pressure from the visitors. Slade pushed the Crusader's lead out further with a late penalty followed by another Crusaders try to Johnny McNicholl.

A much better second half from our men but the lack of game time told for the home side as the Crusaders put on a strong all round performance to take away the win. The Crusaders opened the half with another Slade penalty which were the only points for the first quarter as both teams tightened their defenses. With less than 20 minutes to go Malakai Fekitoa broke the drought, scoring one of his trademark tries, proving too hard to stop 15m out from the tryline after a period of pressure from the home side. Sopoaga narrowed the deficit further with a penalty as the game passed the 70 minute mark to bring it within 6 points but it was another Slade penalty that sealed the Crusaders win. Sopoaga earned the Highlanders a bonus point after the final whistle with a difficult penalty kick from the sideline keeping the team withing 7 points.

HALF TIME: HIG 7 - CRU20 

FULL TIME: HIG 20 - CRU 26 

Tries - A.Smith, M.Fekitoa
Pen - L.Sopoaga 2
Con - L.Sopoaga 2

Crusaders
Tries - S.Barrett, J.McNicholl
Pen - C.Slade 4
Con - C.Slade 2

Round 3 - Highlanders v Reds, 27 Feb, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Marty Banks opened the scoring early with a penalty following two minutes of play, the Highlanders found themselves having to repel multiple waves of Reds attack and repel they did - at the 25 minute mark the home side found themselves 9-3 up courtesy of Banks' assured boot paired with Reds' ill discipline. The Highlanders finished the half hot on attack and lead 9-3 going into the break. It was a hard fought encounter but we managed to takeaway an important win to kick start our season. 

The first 10 minutes into the second half was a period of back and fourth play, with the Reds scoring the first try of the game after Jake Schatz found himself in space 5m out from the Highlanders line to give the Reds the lead. It wasn't long until the Highlanders regained the lead via another Banks penalty. It then took 20 minutes of bruising ball-in-hand play for the home side to find their first 5-pointer when Naholo was given the ball out wide with 20m to run. With 10minutes to play the Highlanders managed to close the game down by holding onto possession.
Parker and O'Conner traded penalties in the final 5minutes but it was only enough to give the Reds the bonus point for finishing within 7.

HALF TIME: HIG 9 - RED 3 

FULL TIME: HIG 20 - RED 13

Highlanders
Tries - W.Naholo
Pen - M.Banks 4, H.Parker

Reds
Tries - J.Schatz
Pen - J.O.Connor 2
Con - J.O.Connor

Round 1 - BYE

Round 8 - BYE

Round 4 - Chiefs v Highlanders, 6 March, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

The opening 30 minutes of the game was fairly scrappy from both sides with the moist conditions contributing to the ball slipping from hands on regular occasions. The Chiefs dominated possession and territory and with the Highlanders fighting hard on defense but managing to get points on the board when they make it down to the oppositions tryline. Cruden opened the scoring with a penalty while Lima Sopoaga has picked up three penalties but missed the conversion following a brilliant try from Patrick Osborne who bet three defenders from 20m out . 

The majority of the second 40minutes saw the Chiefs with seemingly insurmountable amount of territory and possession. They opened the second half with a penalty try from a scrum after we lost Joe Wheeler to the bin for playing the ball on the ground. It wasn't long before the home side got their second penalty try from the set piece as they once again capitalised from the Highlanders being a man down. The Highlanders looked shell shocked after the quick turnaround on the scoreboard and fought hard to get back into the game. Fortunately they managed to regain composure with 10minutes left on the clock. The Highlanders made the most of the last 10minutes, picking up two penalties with Marty Banks slotting the final penalty under immense pressure to take the win. 

HALF TIME: CHI 3 - HIG 14

FULL TIME: CHI 17 - HIG 20

Chiefs
Tries - Penalty try 2
Pen - A.Cruden
Con - A.Cruden 2
Cards - J.Lowe (78th min yellow)

Highlanders
Tries - P.Osborne
Pen - L.Sopoaga 3, M.Banks 2
Cards - J.Wheeler (46th min yellow)

Round 5 - Highlanders v Waratahs, 14 Mar, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Tonight was another thriller under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. The first quarter echoed the previous game with the Highlanders struggling for ball while the Waratahs held the majority of possession and territory and scored early through Nick Phipps after he received the ball from Michael Hooper following a big bust up the middle of the field. The visitors went over for their second on the 20 minute mark on the back of a good set piece play from the lineout, Mathew Carraro the try scorer. With 30 minutes gone the Highlanders found their reply through Tom Franklin burrowing over from close range. With time almost up in the first half, Malakai Fekitoa stripped the ball from Israel Folau and fed it to Waisake Naholo who scorched down the sideline for 60 metres to cross for our second try of the evening. Lima Sopoaga successfully converted to give us the Highlanders the lead going into the break.

The Highlanders came out of the sheds with a clear purpose, scoring two quickfire tries; one to Ben Smith following a rampaging run from Elliot Dixon and the second to Patrick Osborne who was set up following a searing run through the mid-field from previous try scorer Ben Smith. The Highlanders then found themselves having to defend wave after wave of attack from all parts for the last quarter as the the defending Super Rugby Champions looked to get back into the game. The defensive brickwall the Highlanders set held strong for the majority of the final quarter only wavering in the final minute when Waratahs' replacement loose forward, Stephen Hoiles, earnt his team a late consolation try. The conversion was unsuccessful and the Waratahs finished outside of bonus point reach. A gutsy effort all round. 

HALF TIME: HIG 14 - WAR 12 

FULL TIME: HIG 26 - WAR 19 

Highlanders
Tries - T. Franklin, W.Naholo, B.Smith, P.Osborne
Con - L.Sopoaga 3

Waratahs
Tries - N.Phipps, M.Carraro, S.Hoiles
Con - B.Foley 2
Cards - S.Kepu (27th min yellow)

Round 6 - Highlanders v Hurricanes, 20 Mar, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

It was always going to be an epic battle here at Forsyth Barr Stadium and neither team disappointed. The gravity off this match obviously was not lost on the players as uncharacteristic handling errors were committed by both sides in the early stages. After 15 minutes of play Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty after working himself into a scoring position following an intercepted loose pass from Ma'a Nonu. It then took until the 35th minute mark for the next points to be scored with Beauden Barrett slotting a penalty for the visitors to bring the scores level. The score stayed at 3-all for the reminder of the half with both teams looking dangerous. 

The Highlanders came out of the sheds and attacked the Hurricanes line whose defense stood up to the mountain of pressure that the Highlanders threw at them. On the 10 minute mark the Hurricanes scored the first try of the game after Goodes went over following multiple pick and go's while close to the Highlanders try line. Barrett pushed the Hurricane's lead out further with a penalty on the 60 minute mark. Lima Sopoaga replied with a penalty of his own shortly after to narrow the deficit. The Hurricanes then soaked up another massive attacking effort from the Highalnders and eventually managed to get the turnover and turned that possession into points with TJ Perenara scoring from a counter-attacking play.  

The Highlanders swung back on attack and with time almost up on the clock, Savea sin binned due to multiple team infringements while defending, Sopoaga scored to set up a heart stopping final few minutes. The Highlanders went close to leveling the scores after the 80minute mark with replacement back Jason Emery crossing the line to score but on review a forward pass was picked up and the try was disallowed. Nail biting end to a tough game. 

HALF TIME: HIG 3 - HUR 3  

FULL TIME: HIG 13 - HUR 20  

Highlanders
Tries - L.Sopoaga
Pen - L.Sopoaga 2
Con - L.Sopoaga

Hurricanes
Tries - R,.Goodes, TJ Perenara
Pen - B.Barrett 2
Con - B.Barrett 2
Cards -J.Savea (yellow 77th min)

Round 7 - Highlanders v Stormers, 28 Mar, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Both team were kept scoreless in the first 15 minutes as they wrestled for possession with the Stormers finally breaking the drought and mid-fielder, Juan de Jongh, crossing over for a try after being fed the ball from Super Rugby centurian, Shalk Burger. The Highlanders replied almost instantly through a counter attacking play that ended with Aaron Smith doting the ball down to draw level. The reminder of the first half continued to be an even battle until the final 10 minutes when Lima Sopoaga put the home side ahead with a penalty which was followed soon after by a 50 metre intercept try to Waisake Naholo. Naholo crossed over for another highlights reel worth try in the dying seconds of the first half after beating two defenders and running through a third to score. Sopoaga slotted all conversions and the Highlanders led 24-7 at the halftime break.  

The Highlanders dominated possession and territory for the first 10 minutes of the second half and were rewarded with their bonus point try through Patrick Osborne who went over following an extended period of pressure close to the Stormers line. The home side then had to endure a long period of Stormers trademark pick and gos before the visitors scored on the 62nd minute mark. With just over 5minutes to play Dan Pryor scored his first Super Rugby try after finding himself in space 22 metres out. The Stormers manage to score a consolation try with 5 minutes to play after De Jongh went over for his second of the night following great play from the Stormer's back 3, but it was the Highlanders who had the final say with Marty Banks slotting a penalty on the buzzer to push the home team out to a 39-21 win. 

HALF TIME: HIG 24 - STO 7  

FULL TIME: HIG 39 - STO 21  

Highlanders
Tries - A.Smith, W.Naholo 2, P.Osborne, D.Pryor
Pen - L.Sopoaga, M.Banks
Con - L.Sopoaga 4
Cards - A.Smith (56th min yellow)

Stormers
Tries - J.de Jongh 2, M.Rhodes
Con - D.Catrakilis, K.Coleman 2

Round 9 - Crusaders v Highlanders, 11 Apr, AMI Stadium, Christchurch

This was always going to be an intense battle and slightly slippery conditions underfoot didn't help either team hold onto the ball when they looked for opportunities to run. Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty, but the Crusaders struck back almost instantly with a try to Matt Todd on the left wing. The Highlanders then had to endure 10 minutes without Sopoaga after he received a yellow card in the 8th minute for a shoulder charge on his opposite first-five and ex-teammate, Colin Slade. After holding the Crusaders scoreless for the 10 minutes Sopoaga was off the field almost as soon as he returned the Crusaders went over for their second 5-pointer with Taufua burrowing over the line. Sopoaga then closed the gap with a penalty goal with 20 minutes left to play before the break. The remainder of the half saw play move its way up and down the field as both sides fought for territory only to lose the ball at crucial moments. Just as the first half came to a close Sopoaga made a big break through the middle of the park, offloading to Ben Smith who ran the final 40 to score, making it a one point ball game going into the sheds.

Shortly after played resumed Waisake Naholo ran the Highlanders into the lead with his 5th try of the season after interceppting the ball from 50m out with the Crusaders hot on attack. It wasn't long before Naholo nabbed his second try of the game after a trademark bullet pass from Aaron Smith straight into the Fijian flyer's hands. Slade closed the gap with a penalty with 25minutes left on the clock and then the Highlanders defended wave after wave of Crusaders attack for the remainder of the second half as the home side chased the win. The Crusaders managed to bring the score within 7 points with 5minutes left on the clock after another Slade penalty to set up a nervous last few minutes but the Highlanders would not give up and fought until the final whistle for a well-deserved victory!

HALF TIME: CRU 14 - HIG 13 

FULL TIME: CRU 20 - HIG 25 

Crusaders
Tries - M.Todd, J. Taufua
Pen - C.Slade 2
Con - I.Dagg, C. Slade

Highlanders
Tries - B.Smith, W.Naholo 2
Pen - L.Sopoaga 2
Con - L.Sopoaga 2
Cards -L/Sopoaga (8th min yellow)

Round 10 - Highlanders v Blues, 18 Apr, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring early with a penalty goal setting the tone for the first half, Malakai Fekitoa dotted down over the try line no long after in a try that was set up by winger to watch, Waisake Naholo. After playing the provider, Naholo then went over for his own 5-pointer when he fought through the attentions of three defenders to score what seemed an impossible try. Sopoaga doing his part by converting both tries to put the home side in front 17-0. The Highlanders were then called on to defend as the Blues camped themselves in our 22 looking to peg back the deficit but the visitors could not break the line and when the Highlanders swung back onto attack, Fekitoa went over for our third and his second of the night, proving too hard to stop from close. Sopoaga successfully converting and pushing the lead out to 24-0 going into the halftime break. 

It was Lima Sopoaga's unnerving boot that proved the difference tonight as the Blues came out a different beast in the second half, re-enetering the game with a clear intention. They scored two quick tries through the forwards with the honours going to Moala and Tuipulotu. The Highlanders were then reduced to 14 men after Joe Wheeler was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle. The additional man contributed to the Blues going over for their third try of the half through Keven Mealamu and give the visitors 17 unanswered points for the half and reducing the deficit to 24-17. The Highlanders replied with two penalties to Sopoaga but the Blues were not finished and got a bonus point try and Mealamu a double with minutes left on the clock  The visitors finished the 80-minutes hard on attack and it took a turnover from Sopoaga to finish the game, keeping the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy in Dunedin for another year. What a heart stopper! HALF TIME: HIG 24 - BLU 0 

FULL TIME: HIG 30 - BLU 24 

Highlanders
Tries - M.Fekitoa 2, W.Naholo
Pen - L.Sopoaga 3
Con - L.Sopoaga 3
Cards - J.Wheeler (yellow 56th min)

Blues
Tries - G.Moala, P.Tuipulotu, K.Mealamu 2
Con - D.Bowden, I.West

Round 12 - Highlanders v Sharks, 1 May, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

The Highlanders started well with Gareth Evans going over for a try early on after a patient build up from the forwards. After pinning the Sharks down in their own half for an extended period of time Lima Sopoaga knocked over a penalty, with 20 minutes remaining in the half the Sharks replied with a penalty of their own and try to  which was followed up with a try to Mtawarira. With less than 10 miniutes to go in the first the scores were level 10-all. The Highlanders then scored two brilliantly constructed tries to the Fijian Flyers, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne with Sopoaga continuing with his magic boot and 100% kicking to go into the sheds with a 24-10 lead over the Sharks. 
 
The half started with the South Africans on the charge, but the home side defense held strong against the Sharks forwards dominated attack phases. Mark Reddish brought up the Highlanders' bonus point try by diving on a loose ball from a lineout close on the Sharks line and soon after the Highlander's were back on the counter attack, Aaron Smith crossed over the line for another 5-pointer. The Highlander's weren't finished there and picked up a 6th try to Brendon Edmonds following a series of brilliant offloads and running rugby by a mixture of forwards and backs. The Sharks picked up a late consolation with Springbok hooker, Bismark Du Plessis, going over the line off the back of a driving maul only for Elliot Dixon to put an exclamation mark on the victory with a try of his own, burrowing over with help from two of his fellow forwards. A massive effort on attack and defense from the home side for the whole 80 minutes. Our forward pack more than matched their much vaunted opposition and our backs proved too hot to handle. 

HALF TIME: HIG 24 - SHA 10 

FULL TIME: HIG 48 - SHA 15 

Highlanders
Tries - G.Evans, W.Naholo, P. Osborne, M.Reddish, A.Smith, B. Edmonds, E.Dixon
Pen - L.Sopoaga
Con - L.Sopoaga 5

Sharks
Tries - T.Mtawarira, B.du Plessis
Pen - F.Zeilinga
Con - F.Zeilinga

Round 13 - Lions v Highlanders, 9 May, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Tonight was certainly a game of two halves. The Highlanders had an exceptional first hald and led the Lions 20-3 going into the shed at halftime. There was a clear attacking game plan from the first whistle from both teams and the home side opened the scoring with a penalty to Marnitz Boshoff. The Highlanders struck back through the trustworthy boot of Lima Sopoaga who picked up a penalty and a drop goal. That was followed up with a well constructed try to Gareth Evans as the ball was shifted across the front of the Lions try line. Malakai Fekitoa finished the half with one of his trademark tries as he bust up the middle of the field for a 60 metre try leaving sprawling Lions defenders in his wake.

Unfortunately the Highlanders couldn't maintain the pace they set in the first half, whether it was the travel or playing at altitude, they appeared to run out of steam in the second half. The Lions struck not long after returning back to the field with a well constructed try to winger Courtnall Skosan to close the deficit. The Highlanders replied with surprise drop goal from Ben Smith under penalty advantage but that was soon followed up with a driving maul that ended in a try to the Lions bringing the game within 6 points and it wasn't long before the homeside went over for their third to bring the game within a single point. With 10minutes left on the clock the Lions slotted two penalties to complete their stunning comeback and took the game 28-23.

HALF TIME: LIO 3 - HIG 20

FULL TIME: LIO 28 - HIG 23

Lions
Tries - Skosan, Kriel, Vorster
Pen - Jantjies 2, Boshoff
Con - Jantjies 2

Highlanders
Tries - Evans, Fekitoa
Pen - L.Sopoaga
Con - L.Sopoaga 2
Drop - L.Sopoaga, B.Smith

 

Highlanders’ team to play the Cheetahs

Two players making their Super Rugby debut and a six forward, two back split on the reserves bench are features of the Highlanders’ team named to play the Cheetahs. The debutants are Tasman lock Alex Ainley who comes into the side for Tom Franklin, and Hawkes Bay winger Ryan Tongia who replaces the injured Waisake Naholo. Ainley, a seasoned ITM cup campaigner, returns from a fractured jaw sustained playing club rugby two months ago, while league convert, Ryan Tongia, makes the team after less than a year in the game. The only other change is at openside where John Hardie replaces Dan Pryor.

Cheetahs v Highlanders, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Sunday 17th May, 5.10am (NZT)
1.   Brendon Edmonds
2.   Liam Coltman
3.   Josh Hohneck6 
4.   Alex Ainley
5.   Mark Reddish
6.   Gareth Evans
7.   John Hardie
8.   Nasi Manu (c)
9.   Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Richard Buckman
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Ryan Tongia
15. Ben Smith (c)

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Tom Franklin
20. Elliot Dixon
21. Dan Pryor
22. Fumiaki Tanaka
23. Marty Banks

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring) Hayden Parker (shoulder) Joe Wheeler (knee) Kane Hames (knee) Waisake Naholo (foot)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Manager: Paul McLaughlan

Round 14 - Cheetahs v Highlanders, 16 May, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

It was another great first half of rugby from the Highlanders, after last week's shock second half defeat to the Lions the Highlanders came out fired up for their second game in South Africa. They started strong with debutant Ryan Tongia notching up an early try after being on the receiving end of a perfectly weighted chip kick from Lima Sopoaga. The Cheetahs replied with a penalty only for Tongia to bring up his second try after setting himself up with a great chip and chase try down the sideline. Aaron Smith brought up our third try on the 25th minute mark, showing great hands to catch an expert offload from Nasi Manu who made a storming run down the left wing. With just over 30 minutes gone, Patrick Osborne, brought up the bonus point try when he dived on a 20 metre grubber from Ben Smith, competing only with team mate, Malakai Fekitoa, for the bragging rights. After an exciting first half the Highlanders led the Cheetahs 26-3.

Keen to not have a repeat of the second half against the Lions, the Highlanders kept the pressure on in the second half with Aaron Smith resumimg the scoring on the 45 minute mark. Smith scored a pick-and-go try after the Highlanders launched a multiple phase attack on the Cheetahs try line. Gareth Evans soon went over for his third try in as many games after completing a try that began inside the Cheetahs 22m line with Malakai Fekitoa busting up the mid-field. The Cheetahs then struck back with three quickfire tries in the face of a tiring Highlanders defensive line. But it was Ben Smith who sealed the result with a nice chip and chase try. Lima Sopoaga played his part again this week setting up tries and slotting four out of six conversions while substitute first-five, Marty Banks, converted Ben Smith's try to round out the game with a 45-24 bonus point win over the Cheetahs. On to Perth and the Western Force before heading home to play the Chiefs in Invercargill.  

HALFTIME: CHE: 3 - HIG 26

FULLTIME: CHE 24 - HIG 45

Cheetahs
Tries - R.Benjamin,C Wegner, F.Venter,
Pen - F.Brummer
Con - F.Brummer (3)
Cards - R.Rhule (42nd min yellow)

Highlanders
Tries - R.Tongia (2), A.Smith (2), P.Osborne, G.Evans, B.Smith
Con - L.Sopoaga (4), M.Banks

Round 16 - Highlanders v Chiefs, 30 May, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill

The stage is set for a massive game with Invercargill turing out in the thousands to support the Highlanders at Rugby Park Stadium for this high-stakes clash. As the fog rolled in the Highlanders opened the scoring with two penalty goals in the first 10 minutes through the trusty boot of Lima Sopoaga. Difficult handling conditions hampered the period of play to follow with both teams unable to hold on to the ball while on attack. The Chiefs finally getting on the board on the 20th minute mark with a penalty of their own to Southland native, Damien McKenzie. Patrick Osborne went over for the first try 10 minutes later, the big man proving too hard to stop from only 10 metres out, Sopoaga unable to convert from out wide. The Chiefs then came oh-so-close before halftime with a try that was ruled out by the TMO as a knock-on on review and the Highlandes held an 11-3 lead as the whistle blew for half-time.      

The second half saw the game open up and the Highlanders employed the game plan proving successful in the damp conditions, the Highlanders kept the opposition pinned in their own half domniating territory and minimising the opportunities for the Chiefs' dangerous outside backs. The Highlanders capitalised on time spent inside the Chief's half with Naholo opening the scoring in the second half with a magic 5-pointer after cutting the the defense open from halfway and scoring his 9th try of the season. The Chiefs replied with two penalty goals to narrow the deficit to 9-points with just over 20minutes to play. Sopoaga pushed the lead back out to 15 with two penalty goals of his own with less than 15minutes to play on the clock. The Highlander's third try soon followed and went to Buckman who dived over for his first try of the season after receiving the ball from Aaron Smith following an extended period of pick-and-go play. Not content with the extended scoreline the Highlanders pushed for that all important fourth try and bonus point, and it was Captain Ben Smith who went over after the Highlanders spread the ball across the front of the Chiefs goal line.  

Thank you to all who stayed at the end to watch the presentation to Ben Smith following the achievement of his 100th Super Rugby game in Perth last weekend. 

FIRST HALF: HIG:11 - CHI:3 ‪‬ 

SECOND HALF: HIG:36 - CHI:9 ‬ 

Highlanders
Tries - P.Osborne, W.Naholo, R.Buckman, B.Smith
Pen - L.Sopoaga 4
Con - L.Sopoaga 2

Chiefs
Pen - D.McKenzie 3

Round 15 - Western Force v Highlanders, 23 May, NIB Stadium, Perth

This game was always going to be tough being on the return leg of the South Afican tour and playing a team with nothing to lose and history on their side (the Force have won six games against the Highlanders since 2007) but the Highlanders managed to secure the win they needed to keep their play-off hopes alive. The first half didn't see many points go on the board for either team but still had the dynamic play the Highlanders are known for, but not able to finish off as well as they have in previous games. The opening quarter saw possession change sides numerous times with neither team being able to covert it into points until Lima Sopoaga was able to slot penalty goal after the Force infringed while the Highlanders were hot on attack, this was was met with a penalty to the Force through Sias Ebersohn soon after. The remainder of the half was locked up 3-all as both sides attacked the other's line, and just when it looked like it was going to be all tied up at the break, Sopoaga managed to push the Highlanders to a 6-3 lead with a penalty after the half time.

The Highlanders came out of the sheds stirred up for a big second 40 minutes and John Hardie notched up a try in his 50th match off the back of a driving maul after only being back on the grass for 7 minutes. The Force were then called upon to defend their line for close to 15 minutes as the Highlanders camped in the home side's 22 which ended with Sopoaga slotted a dropped goal. The Highlanders swung straight back onto the attack after the restart and Aaron Smith scored a great try after receiving the ball from a tackle breaking Richard Buckman.

A massive congratulations to Ben Smith on his 100th Investec Super Rugby game and John Hardie on his 50th. Both men putting in great shifts last night as they have throughout their whole seasons. 

HALFTIME: FOR 3 - HIG 6

FULLTIME: FOR 3 - HIG 23

Force
Pen - S.Ebersohn

Highlanders
Tries - J.Hardie, A.Smith
Pen - L.Sopoaga (2)
Con - M.Banks
Drop - L.Sopoaga

Round 17 - Hurricanes v Highlanders, 5 June, McLean Park, Napier

The Highlanders are faced a big deficit going into the halftime break after a fired up Hurricanes side blew them away in the first half. Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a drop goal in the first minute after the Highlander's forwards gained the turnover in the Hurricanes 22. The Hurricanes replied shorty after with a penalty to have the scores at 3 all after 3 minutes of play. The Highlanders were then reduced to 14 men when Gareth Evans was shown yellow for infringing while the Hurricanes were under penalty advantage while in the midst of a driving maul close to our line. The Hurricanes then proceeded to score three quickfire tries to give them a healthy lead with only 25 minutes on the clock. The visitors managed to pull one back with Ryan Tongia going over after receiving the ball from a tackle breaking John Hardie. The scorer then turned provider when Tongia caught his own up and under to make a big break up field which ended in a try to Sopoaga. But just as the Highlanders were working their way back into the game, the Hurricanes scored a late try to Dane Coles leaving the Highlanders with a lot of work to do in the second half. 

The Highlanders fought hard but couldn't recover from deficit they faced following the first half. Things didn't start well for the Highlanders following the resumption of play with Savea going over a minute after the kick off. The Highlanders replied with a try of their own to Marty Banks shortly after only for the Hurricanes to strike back almost instantly with Perenara going over for his second. As the clock wound down Ma'a Nonu scored two quickfire 5 pointers to make it a comprehensive victory for the New Zealand conference leaders as the final whistle sounded.

HALF TIME: HUR 30 - HIG13‬

FULL TIME: HUR 56 - HIG 20 ‪

Hurricanes
Tries - B.Thomson, J.Marshall, TJ Perenara 2, D.Coles, J.Savea, M.Nonu 2
Pen - J.Marshall 2
Con - J.Marshall 5

Highlanders
Tries - R.Tongia, L.Sopoaga, M.Banks
Drop - L.Sopoaga
Cards -G.Evans (11th min yellow)

Round 18 - Blues v Highlanders, 12 June, Eden Park, Auckland

The Highlanders hold a good lead as the teams head into the sheds for the break. After dominating territory and possession early in the half, the Highlanders scored first with a driving maul try to John Hardie off the back of a 5 metre lineout. Our latest half centurion Shaun Treeby went over from close range for our second, proving too hard to stop from close range as the Highlanders committed to a series of pick-and-go's close to the Blues try line. And with time up on the clock Elliot Dixon crossed for our third off the back of a 10 metre scrum to sign off on a half dominated by the visitors. 

The Highlanders bounced back well after last week's loss to the Hurricanes, finishing the regular season strong with a big win over the Blues at Eden Park. The visitors once again started strongly and were rewarded with a bonus point try after 50 minutes of play when Patrick Osborne danced down the left wing to score. Dan Pryor went over for our 5th shortly after on the back of quick recycling from our forwards and backs combined deep in the Blues 22m. On the 65th minute mark Joe Latta went over his debut Super Rugby try when he went down with the ball over the Blues tryline deep in the heart of a driving maul. The Blues struck back almost instantly with a try to replacement back Matt McGahan. The Highlanders then swung back onto the attack and put an exclamation mark on the win with a try to Ben Smith on the left wing when he caught a tap back from Osborne as Lima Sopoaga delivered the cross kick to the waiting wingers hands.


A big effort from the boys! Well done to Shaun Treeby on reaching his 50 game milestone and putting in a strong 80 minutes in minutes in the process. Bring on the play-offs! 

HALF TIME: BLU - HIG:20

FULL TIME: BLU:7 - HIG:44

Blues
Tries - M.McGahan
Con - I.West

Highlanders
Tries - J.Hardie, S.Treeby, E.Dixon, P.Osborne, D.Pryor, J.Latta, B.Smith
Pen - L.Sopoaga
Con - L.Sopoaga 3
Cards - J. Hohneck (21st min yellow)

Qualifiers - Highlanders v Chiefs, 20 June, Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin

The atmosphere was electric with a virtual capacity of 22,500 fans packed into Forsyth Barr Stadium with the crowd bringing the noise! Both teams came out fired up and hit the line hard in attack and on defense. Both first-fives traded penalties early on and the score was at 3-all after 10 minutes of play. It took until the 23rd minute mark for the first try of the game, Aaron Smith made a big break off the back of a scrum and then found Waisake Naholo who crossed the line for his 10th try of the season. The Chiefs replied with 2 penalties which pushed them into a narrow 1-point lead going into the break.  

A win built on the back of cohesive attack and never say die defense. Like they did in the first half, the Highlanders came out firing and scored a try early to none other than Naholo when he crossed on the right wing to become the competition's leading try scorer off a suberb run and offload from Aaron Smith. Lima Sopoaga pushed the lead out further with a penalty goal as clock brought up 60 minutes. The Chiefs replied through Brodie Retallick with the big lock reaching out to score after a sustained period of attack. Not long after Sopoaga knocked over a penalty and extended the Highlanders lead to 21-14.  The Highlanders were then called upon to defend as the Chiefs threw everything at the home side's line, and defend they did, eventually forcing the all important turnover with minutes left on the clock. Following that crucial turnover they fought their way down-field and sealed the result with a penalty from out in front on fulltime.

What a match! Semi-Finals here we come! Thank you to everyone that showed up in support, it was your energy that got the guys home.

FIRST HALF: HIG:8 - CHI:9 

SECOND HALF: HIG:24 - CHI:14 

Highlanders
Tries - W.Naholo 2
Pen - L.Sopoaga 4
Con - L.Sopoaga

Chiefs
Tries - B.Retallick
Pen - A.Horrell 3

Semi-final - Waratahs v Highlanders, 27 June, Allianz Stadium Sydney

The Highlanders started well, putting the home side under pressure close to their line, playing for territory, and we earned a penalty to open the scoring through Lima Sopoaga. It didn't take long for the Waratahs to find their reply when winger Rob Horne crossed over after receiving a chip kick from Ben Foley, conversion unsuccessful. The Highlanders then struck back with a bit of Aaron Smith magic after he intercepted the ball off the back of a Waratahs scrum and ran 10m to score, Sopoaga unable to convert from the sideline. The Waratahs then drew level with a penalty of their own to see the scores at 8-all after 25 minutes of scintillating play. The home side then took the lead with another Foley penalty but as was the theme in this game the Highlanders returned fire straight away with Richard Buckman bursting through the defensive line to score. Sopoaga's usually sure boot unable to find the sticks to convert. Foley pegged back the deficit with his third penalty goal to finish what has been a tense and fast paced first half. The Highlanders holding a one point lead going into the break in this epic semi-final encounter in Sydney.

The Highlanders came out fired up in the second half and employed the perfect game plan against the defending Champions, out scoring the men from Sydney 5 tries to 1. Following 10 minutes of end-to-end rugby after the resumption of play, it was the Waratahs who opened the scoring with a penalty goal. Waisake Naholo regained the lead for the Highlanders with a piece of individual magic after he chipped the ball from 25 and ran around the defender to score just inside the dead-ball line. The Highlanders were then awarded a penalty try when Jacques Potgieter was awarded a yellow carded for a swinging arm as Patrick Osborne was in the act of scoring. The Waratahs then threw everything they had at the visitors in an attempt to get back into the match but the Highlanders were shutting down anything the home side could muster. Once we swung back on attack, Sopoaga slotted a drop goal to extend the lead and it was Patrick Osborne who put the icing on the cake with a try after he latched onto a perfect chip kick from Sopoaga.

What a performance from the Highlanders!

Hurricanes up next at the Cake tin for the Final!

GO HIGHLANDERS!!!

HALFTIME: WAR:14 - HIG:15 ‬
FULLTIME: WAR:17 - HIG:35 ‪‬

Waratahs
Tries - R.Horne,
Pen - B.Foley 4
Cards -J.Potgieter (57th min yellow)

Highlanders
Tries - A.Smith, R.Buckman, W.Naholo, Penalty try, P.Osborne
Pen - L.Sopoaga
Con - L.Sopoaga 2
Drop - L.Sopoaga

Final - Hurricanes v Highlanders, 4 July, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

GettyImages-479424928

 

This game is living up to and exceeding all expectations, both sides are playing nothing short of top draw rugby at an absolutely frenetic pace. After a long opening period of play it was the Hurricanes who blinked first with Liam Coltman earning a breakdown penalty for Lima Sopoaga to open the scoring with. What followed was 25 minutes of fast paced ball in hand, end to end footy with both teams running and tackling hard before Sopoaga slotted his second penalty goal from 50 metres out and entended the lead to 6-0. It took until the 35th minute for the Hurricanes to find their reply with Ma'a Nonu going over on the wing after an extended period of pick-and-gos from the home side close to our line, Beauden Barrett unable to convert. But the Highlanders were not done and Elliot Dixon, playing his 50th Super Rugby game, took four defenders with him as he stormed towards the tryline to plant the ball as the hooter sounded! Sopoaga added the extra 2-points from the sideline to complete his 100% successful first half with the boot. This is the stuff of legends and we have one of the biggest 40 minutes in Highlander's rugby history to come!

The Hurricanes opened the scoring early in the second with a Barrett penalty goal only for the Highlanders to return fire with a try to Waisake Naholo, conversion unsuccessful. On the 55th minute mark Barrett knocked over another penalty to close down the deficit to 7-points. It took only another 10 minutes of play before Barrett knocked over another 3-pointer after a period dominated by the home side territory and possession-wise and then there was only 4-points in it. The Highlanders then took control of possession and slowed the game down through pick- and-go set pieces in an effort to wind down the clock. After what seemed an age of time had passed, substitute first-five, Marty Banks, slotted a clutch drop goal to extend the lead back out to 7-points. The Highlanders then finished off the game by keeping the ball in hand until the buzzer sounded and they cemented their place in Super Rugby history with their first ever Championship victory. 

WE ARE THE MIGHTY HIGHLANDERS!!!

HALF TIME: HUR:5 - HIG:13 

FULL TIME: HUR:14 - HIG:21 

Hurricanes
Tries - M.Nonu.
Pen - B.Barrett 3

Highlanders
Tries - E.Dixon, W.Naholo
Pen - L.Sopoaga 2
Con - L.Sopoaga
Drop - M.Banks

Round 1 - Blues v Highlanders, 26 February, Eden Park, Auckland

Super Rugby opened with a bang on Friday night in Auckland and the Highlanders were unable to complete a last ditch attempt to steal the win from a renewed Blues team. 
 
The game opened with a hiss and a roar and posession see-sawed between the two teams, Ihaia West unable to captialise on an early penalty in front of the sticks. Ben Smith scores the opener, slamming the ball on the try line after a great run up the middle from new Highlander, Liam Squire. Lima Sopoaga adds the extra two points and Highlanders lead 7-0 after 10miniutes. The Blues found their reply on the 20th minute with a long distance try to Melani Nanai who was on the receiving end of a kick-pass from West, West converts and the score evens out at 7-all. Highlanders strike back through a Sopoaga penalty which is quickly followed by a try to the Blues with Blake Gibson crashing through the defensive line, West successfully converts. 
 
The tries keep coming as Teihorangi Walden goes over for a 5-pointer on debut, following quick hands through the backline. Sopoaga converts and the score is all tied up again at 17-all. West adds three points after a Highlanders infringement at the breakdown, 20-17 to the Blues, but that doesn't last long as some Aaron Smith and Waisake Naholo magic result in a great try right on the halftime whistle. Sopaga successfully converts and the Highlanders lead the Blues 24-20 at the halftime break. 
 
The second half descended into an arm wrestle as both sides crashed and bashed for little reward. Ihaia West slotted two penalty goals to nudge the Blues ahead at the three-quarter mark. The Highlanders were then called upon to defend for an extended period of time as the home side held the ball for multiple phases before Blue's lock Patrick Tuipulotu crashed over the line to score. The Highlanders swung back onto attack and scored a miracle try to Ben Smith in the 79th minute followed by an outstanding kick from the sideline by replacement first-five, Hayden Parker, but the clock ran out and the two point deficit proved two points too many. Plenty of positives to take from this match as we look to next week's home game against the Hurricanes.
 
HALFTIME: HIG 24 - BLU 20
 
FULLTIME: HIG 31 - BLU 33
 
 

BLUES

Tries – M.Nanai, B. Gibson, P. Tuipulotu

Pen – I West 4

Con – I.West 3

 

HIGHLANDERS

Tries – B.Smith 2, T. Walden, W.Naholo

Pen – L.Sopoaga, 

Con -L.Sopoaga 3, Parker 

Cards – P.Osborne (70th min yellow)

 

Round 2 - Highlanders v Hurricanes, 5th March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

A packed Forsyth Barr Stadium were treated to a nail biting game of rugby to open the Highlanders 2016 home season on Saturday night. After a furious and fast-paced opening five minutes of play, it was the Hurricanes that opened the scoring through a Beauden Barrett penalty goal. The Highlanders struck back almost instantly through a try to Malakai Fekitoa with a tackle-bursting run. Lima Sopoaga couldn't convert but managed to slot a penalty goal soon after to and Barrett and Sopoaga continued to trade penalty goals to see the half out and the Highlanders leading 11-6 on the halftime whistle.
 

The second half continued in the same way as the first, a tight tussle between two great teams. Sopoaga opened the scoring back up in the second half with a penalty goal only to have stand-in Hurricanes Captain TJ Perenara cross the for the first try following a series of pick-and-go's close to our line. Barrett pushed the Hurricanes into the lead with a penalty at the 60th minute mark and then in a never before seen series of events lead the Highlanders to be denyed two tries by the TMO one after the other before the Kurow Kid, Hayden Parker, replacement first-five slotted a clutch penalty to edge the Highlanders into a one-point lead which they held onto until the final whistle. 

And the crowd collectively breathed a sigh of releif - what a game! What a crowd, see you all back here next week for Highlanders v Lions. 

HALFTIME: HIG 11 - HUR 6

FULLTIME: HIG 17 - HUR 16
 
 

HIGHLANDERS

Tries – M Fekitoa

Pen – L Sopoaga (3), Parker

 

HURRICANES

Tries – TJ Perenara

Pen – B Barrett (3)

Cons - B Barrett

Highlanders named to play Force in round 15 clash

The Highlanders team has been named to take on the Force in Perth on Saturday night. There are only a couple of changes to the starting line-up that scored four tries in 25 minutes against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend. Both Waisake Naholo and Shaun Treeby return from injury to the starting team with Naholo back on the wing and Treeby coming into the second-five position. Utility back, Richard Buckman, moves to cover on the bench and the forward/back split returns to the standard 5:3. Elliot Dixon is unavailable for selection this week returning back to New Zealand for the the birth of his first child pending.

This will be the third game on the road for the Highlanders as they look to firm up their position heading into the final rounds of the 2015 Investec Super Rugby competition. After playing the Force the team then heads home to play the Chiefs in Invercargill on Saturday 30th May in what is shaping up as an exciting encounter with the teams currently on even points.

Co-Captain, Ben Smith, will achieve a Super Rugby century when he takes the field on Saturday night and becomes only the fourth Highlander to rack up 100 games all wearing the Highlanders jersey. Loose forward, and Highlanders stalwart, John Hardie will also achieve a milestone on Saturday playing his 50th Super Rugby game for the Highlanders.

Force v Highlanders, NIB Stadium, Perth – Saturday 23rd May, 11.45pm (NZT)
1. Brendon Edmonds
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Alex Ainley
5. Mark Reddish
6. Gareth Evans
7. John Hardie
8. Nasi Manu (Co-C)
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (Co-C)
Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Tom Franklin
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Richard Buckman
23. Marty Banks

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee)

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

For further information contact Amanda Gould 021 223 8440

 

Highlanders named to play Chiefs in Invercargill

474483318

Credit: Getty Images 

The Highlanders team has been named to play the Chiefs, in what is going to be a crucial match for both teams leading into  the final rounds of the 2015 Investec Super Rugby competition. Lock Mark Reddish suffered a hand injury during the 23-3 win over the Force in Perth and is replaced in the team by Tom Franklin, Joe Latta joins trhe reserves as lock cover. Richard Buckman returns to the midfield in place of Shaun Treeby. Jason Emery completes the back reserves on the bench for this match

Co-Captain, Nasi Manu, sustained a shoulder injury in the lead up to last weekend’s game and is awaiting scan results.

This will be the final home game for the Highlanders in 2015. Ben Smith’s 100th Super Rugby match will be recognised by local New Zealand Rugby Board Member Graham Cooney who will present a pounamu mere post-match. 

Highlanders v Chiefs, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill – Saturday 30th May, 7.35pm (NZT)
1. Brendon Edmonds
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Alex Ainley
5. Tom Franklin
6. Elliot Dixon
7. John Hardie
8. Dan Pryor
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Richard Buckman
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (C)

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Joe Latta
20. Gareth Evans
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee), Nasi Manu (s

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

For further information contact Amanda Gould 021 223 8440

 

Highlanders’ co-Captain, Ben Smith, to play 100th Super Rugby game

highlanders v hurricanes 0034

Credit: Getty Images

The Highlanders and New Zealand Rugby have congratulated Ben Smith as he prepares to reach his 100th Investec Super Rugby match when the Highlanders face the Western Force at NIB Stadium in Perth tonight (Saturday NZT).

The Highlanders’ co-captain becomes the 37th player to join the New Zealand Super Rugby centurions club and he will become only the fourth player to achieve 100 Super Rugby games with the Highlanders following in the footsteps of Anton Oliver, Jimmy Cowan and Chris King.

Home-grown hero Ben Smith, who debuted for Otago in 2007, joined the Highlanders in 2009 and quickly became a key member of the team with his uncanny ability to break tackles and elude defenders.  Smith debuted for the All Blacks in that same year against Italy in Milan.  In 2010 he was a member of the New Zealand Sevens team that won gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

As an integral member of the Highlanders team, Smith has only missed two games since the start of the 2013 season (one in 2014 through injury and one in 2015 while being rested). Smith’s exceptional form in 2013 for the Highlanders and particularly for the All Blacks, saw him nominated for five national and international awards, including the IRB Player of the Year.  

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew congratulated Smith on the milestone.

“Ben is a hard worker in both the All Blacks and Highlanders environment.  There is no question that he trains and works hard to earn his place in any team, and he is incredibly entertaining to watch.  And you can’t help but get the feeling that we are still to see the best from him.

“Congratulations to Ben – he’s a fantastic ambassador for the game and for New Zealand Rugby,” Tew said.

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, “Ben is one of the most professional players I have ever encountered. He’s a very self-aware, self-confident player who performs consistently at the highest level”.   

Highlanders’ General Manager Roger Clark added “Ben is such a loyal team member and has played a major role for the Highlanders over his 100 games and we hope he continues for many more. It’s great to have a local player achieving this milestone”.

Ben Smith, when asked during the week about this weekend’s achievement commented that “I’m pumped to play 100 games, particularly in such an important game for the team. It’s come around really quickly, it’s been a privilege to play with my mates in my home town”.

Smith will be presented with a pounamu mere – the New Zealand Rugby gift for centurions - next week in Invercargill when the Highlanders take on the Chiefs in round 16 of the Investec Super Rugby Competition.

 

For further information contact:

Highlanders Media Manager:
Amanda Gould 021 223 8440

or

Juli Clausen
Senior Media Advisor
D: +64 (0)4 474 7276
M: +64 (0)27 570 70 45
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

END

Highlanders have a field day

Go Pro

“If you build it, they will come.” It’s the most famous line from the 1989 film Field of Dreams and it’s also what inspired a farmer to turn his paddock into a rugby field for the Highlanders.

On 11th February 2016, as part of the Southern Field Days biennial event in Waimumu, the Highlanders will run out against an opposing team onto Farmlands shareholder Fred Booth’s paddock. The preseason match will be another attraction at an event that already draws in around 38,500 people over 3 days.

When the Southern Field Days committee were first approached with the concept of a rugby match, their initial response was that it might be more than they could handle, “but the Southern Field Days can-do attitude kicked in, plans were sorted and a rugby field has now appeared out of Fred’s paddock,” Southern Field Days Chairman Logan Evans says. “We welcome the Highlanders to the Southern Field Days site.”

The two teams will play for the Farmlands Cup in a match that is expected to become a regular fixture at the Field Days. “We are certainly in this for the long haul, we see it as a good fit with our fans and commercial partners and also something a little different for the Highlanders,” Highlanders Commercial Manager Mike Kerr says.

The team behind the Highlanders pride themselves on innovation. “We see this as an exciting initiative that will help us connect further with our rural fan base,” Mike says. “We have to acknowledge the great people at both the Southern Field Days and Farmlands, as without their commitment and passion to create a unique rural event this game would not be possible.”

Farmlands Chief Executive Officer, Acting Tony van der Hoorn, says that Farmlands is delighted to support the return of professional rugby to its grass roots. “To have the Highlanders compete on a shareholder’s paddock is fantastic and this will be a great event for the rural community.”

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks says it will be fantastic to welcome the Highlanders to the Field Days site. “It’s something we certainly wouldn’t have foreseen in the early days of the event. This is a terrific initiative and it’s great to see the Field Days growing all the time.”

END

 

Highlanders’ team to play the Hurricanes

 

Tomorrow night’s game will feature a new captain, vice-captain and have five players running out onto their home field when the Highlanders clash with the table topping Hurricanes. Head coach, Jamie Joseph, has named a side that features six changes to the starting line-up that so impressively defeated the Chiefs last Saturday in Invercargill 36-9.

Ash Dixon earns a start, and the captaincy, while new father Elliot Dixon returns to number eight and Gareth Evans to the blindside. Fumiaki Tanaka, Jason Emery and Marty Banks replace the rested All Blacks in the starting team.

Meanwhile Ash Dixon, Brendon Edmonds, Gareth Evans, Richard Buckman and Ryan Tongia should feel right at home at McLean Park as they all play for the ITM Cup team and current Ranfurly Shield holders, Hawkes Bay Magpies.

On the bench Stags halfback, Scott Eade, could be set for his Highlanders debut while Kurt Baker makes his second appearance in the playing 23 for 2015 after coming on against the Reds in round 3.

Hurricanes v Highlanders, McLean Park, Napier - Friday 5th June, 7.35pm
1. Brendon Edmonds
2. Ash Dixon ( C )
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Alex Ainley
5. Tom Franklin
6. Gareth Evans
7. John Hardie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Fumiaki Tanaka
10. Lima Sopoaga (VC)
11. Ryan Tongia
12. Richard Buckman
13. Jason Emery
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Marty Banks

Reserves:
16. Liam Coltman
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Joe Latta
20. Dan Pryor
21. Scott Eade
22. Shaun Treeby
23. Kurt Baker

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee), Mark Reddish (hand), Nasi Manu (shoulder), Patrick Osborne (calf), Josh Renton (hamstring)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

END

Highlanders team named to play Blues at Eden Park

The Highlanders have made ten positional and personnel changes to the team that was humbled by the Hurricanes in Napier. The front row is completely changed and features Daniel Lienert-Brown in his first run on game for the season, Joe Latta will also have his first game in the starting fifteen. In the back row Elliot Dixon moves to blindside, Dan Pryor returns at number eight and Gareth Evans moves to the bench. Young Otago lock, Jackson Hemopo, comes into the playing 23 for the injured Tom Franklin in what will be his debut for the Highlanders.

In the backs, Shaun Treeby, will play his 50th game for the franchise and he will partner the versatile Richard Buckman in the centre as Malakai Fekitoa has a groin injury that will sideline him for this week. All Blacks Ben and Aaron Smith return as does form winger Patrick Osborne reuniting the lethal back three of Naholo, Smith and Osborne.

Blues v Highlanders, Eden Park, Auckland - Friday 12th June, 7.35pm
1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Alex Ainley
5. Joe Latta
6. Elliot Dixon
7. John Hardie
8. Dan Pryor
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Richard Buckman
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (c)

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Jackson Hemopo
20. Gareth Evans
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Kurt Baker

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee), Mark Reddish (hand), Nasi Manu (shoulder), Malakai Fekitoa(groin)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

Highlanders v Chiefs - 2015 Investec Super Rugby Finals Series - Ticketing Info

Playoff creative 1

 

Highlanders v Chiefs - 2015 Investec Super Rugby Finals Series

The Highlanders have a HOME play-off for the first time since 1999 and the game is set to be an absolute cracker. Make sure you get in quick to secure your tickets to the biggest game in town. We need all our fans to fill the stands and help us get through to the next stage of the 2015 Investec Super Rugby Finals Series.

HIGHLANDERS SEASON MEMBERS will have preferential rights to purchase their members seats and additional tickets from 8am Sunday until 8pm Monday. Please check your email for details, if you have not received an email please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the office on (03) 479 9280. 

To puchase your seat please visit this website: http://season.ticketdirect.co.nz/highlanders 
You will need your customer ID (on your membership card) and the password which has been sent to your email. 

PUBLIC SALE from 8am Tuesday

Highlanders' team named to play the Chiefs in the first game of the 2015 Ivestec Super Rugby Finals Series

Head Coach Jamie Joseph welcomes back two key forwards for the all-important qualifying game against the Chiefs this Saturday. Co-captain Nasi Manu and the experienced Mark Reddish make a timely return from injury to bolster the pack. The versatile Dan Pryor, who has played in all three back row position this season, moves to the openside flank replacing the injured John Hardie. In the front row Daniel Lienert-Brown makes way for Brendon Edmonds.

Malakai Fekitoa, who has been under an injury cloud over the last few weeks, has been named to start at centre reuniting with the explosive back three of Ben Smith,Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne. 

The game will be played in front of a capacity crowd with the covered Forsyth Barr Stadium providing the ideal setting for what will be the biggest game for the franchise since 1999.

2015 Investec Super Rugby Finals Series - Highlanders v Chiefs
Forsyth Barr, Dunedin - Saturday 20th June, 7.35pm
1. Brendon Edmonds
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Alex Ainley
5. Mark Reddish
6. Elliot Dixon
7. Dan Pryor
8. Nasi Manu (co-Captain)
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Richard Buckman
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (co-Captain)

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Joe Latta
20. Gareth Evans
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Shaun Treeby

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee) John Hardie (rib)

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

Highlanders’ team to play the Waratahs in the semi-final

Saturday’s semi-final will see the Highlanders’ field an almost identical starting fifteen to the side that beat the Chiefs last Saturday in an encounter of epic proportions. The only change - openside flanker James Lentjes replaces the injured Dan Pryor. Lentjes was called in for injuries earlier in the season and has showed a lot of promise in his  four games to date.

The team also welcomes back experienced lock Joe Wheeler from a lengthy injury break to take his place on the bench alongside Trent Renata. Renata replaces the versatile Marty Banks who took a head knock during the week and while working through the concussion protocols is unavailable for action this week.

The team will again be captained by the experienced duo of Ben Smith and Nasi Manu who will be playing their 104th and 80th game respectively.

 Waratahs v Highlanders, Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Saturday 27th June, 7.55pm AEST (9.55pm NZST)

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Mark Reddish

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Nasi Manu (co-Captain)

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Richard Buckman

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith (co-Captain)

 

Reserves:

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Joe Wheeler

20. Gareth Evans

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Trent Renata

23. Shaun Treeby

Unavailable:  Dan Pryor (elbow), Kane Hames (knee) John Hardie (rib) Marty Banks (concussion)

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

END

Highlanders team named for 2015 Super Rugby Final

Highlanders' head coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the same side that beat the NSW  Waratahs in an electrifying semi-final in Sydney last weekend. A six forward and two back split on the reserves bench will give the hard working Highlanders' forward pack plenty of firepower for the final.

Elliot Dixon will play his 50th Super Rugby game for the Highlanders, capping off a great season for the Southland loose forward who was also named in the Maori All Blacks team earlier this week.

The backs have a settled look to them with the only change being Marty Banks returning to the reserves bench. 

This will be the Highlanders first final since they played the Crusaders in Dunedin in 1999 and the 2015 team has more 13 games so far, more than any other Highlanders team in history! How they would love to win 14!

2015 Investec Super Rugby Final - Hurricanes v Highlanders, Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 7.35pm Saturday 4th July 

1. Brendon Edmonds

2. Liam Coltman

3. Josh Hohneck

4. Alex Ainley

5. Mark Reddish

6. Elliot Dixon

7. James Lentjes

8. Nasi Manu (co-captain)

9. Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Richard Buckman

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Joe Wheeler

20. Gareth Evans

21. Shane Christie

22. Fumiaki Tanaka

23. Marty Banks

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown & Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

2015 Investec Super Rugby Trophy Tour

 

GettyImages-479425492

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Following a massive street parade on Monday the Highlanders will take the Investec Super Rugby Trophy to their support base over the next few weeks. In conjunction with their community partner PlaceMakers the trophy, which weighs and impressive 28kg, will be taken to various centres throughout the Highlanders’ region to provide photo opportunities for the fans.

Highlanders’ General Manager Roger Clark said “at the game on Saturday and at the parade on Monday so many people, young and old, wanted photos with the cup and it just wasn’t possible to give everyone an opportunity. We have decided the best thing we can do is to take the cup to as many towns in our region as we can over the next few days. We will do that in association with PlaceMakers as they have stores throughout our region”

Unfortunately no players will accompany the trophy as the team is now disbanding with players heading to the All Blacks, NZ Maori and their respective provincial union teams.

As the Investec Super Rugby competition is changing format next year the teams will be playing for a new trophy; as the last winners of the current competition the Highlanders will keep the trophy.

The Trophy Tour dates are as follows:

Friday 10th PlaceMakers Oamaru

Saturday 11th PlaceMakers Dunedin  

Sunday 12th PlaceMakers Invercargill

Monday 13th PlaceMakers Gore

Tuesday 14th PlaceMakers Te Anau

Wednesday 15th PlaceMakers Queenstown

Thursday 16th PlaceMakers Wanaka

Friday 17th PlaceMakers Cromwell

Saturday 18th PlaceMakers Alexandra

The trophy will be on display between 10am and 2pm at each location.

Southern and Northern Hemisphere Champions to meet

Highlanders v Toulon

 

The Highlanders have confirmed that they have been working with SL Events and Toulon post winning the 2015 Investec Super Rugby title around staging a game in Hong Kong. The game would be an integral part of their preseason campaign for 2016 and would take place on February 6th.

Highlanders General Manager, Roger Clark, said “obviously it’s a significant opportunity and it would be the first time the Highlanders have matched up against a European side. It’s fair to say the coaching group are excited by the prospect. While there are still a number of operational and compliance issues to work through we do have agreement in principle.”

END

Aaron Smith recommits to New Zealand rugby until 2019

Aaron Smith

Image courtesy of Getty Images

New Zealand Rugby, the Highlanders and Manawatu Rugby are delighted to announce that halfback Aaron Smith has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby through until the end of the 2019 season.

26-year-old Smith, who has played 41 Tests for the All Blacks, 78 games (including an amazing 60 consecutive matches) for the Highlanders and more than 40 matches for the Manawatu Turbos, has become an integral part of the All Blacks and Highlanders success over the last few years.  He was a standout player for the Highlanders this season helping the team to their inaugural Super Rugby title and carried his outstanding form into the All Blacks season.

Smith said: “I’m really excited and thankful for the commitment shown from New Zealand Rugby, including the Highlanders and Manawatu Turbos.  Knowing I’m contracted for the next four years allows me to focus on my rugby and there are some exciting challenges ahead for the All Blacks which I hope to be part of.  Dunedin is my home and I wouldn’t want to play my Super Rugby anywhere else; the Highlanders brotherhood is something pretty special and I can’t wait for next season.”

Smith joins All Blacks teammates Julian Savea, Brodie Retallick and Dane Coles who announced four-year deals earlier this year, while Jerome Kaino and Wyatt Crockett are contracted through until 2018. Players locked in to 2017 include Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith, Charlie Faumuina, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua, Malakai Fekitoa, Hikawera Elliot, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, James Broadhurst, Tawera Kerr Barlow, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Brad Weber, Charlie Ngatai and Ryan Crotty; with Sonny Bill Williams, Augustine Pulu, Beauden Barrett, Joe Moody, Lima Sopoaga, Luke Romano, Matt Todd, Victor Vito, George Moala, TJ Perenara, Dominic Bird, Patrick Tuipulotu and Andy Ellis contracted through to the end of next year.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said: “I want to congratulate Aaron on his recommitment to New Zealand Rugby.  In the last few seasons he has developed into a key player for both the Highlanders and the All Blacks and is a world-class player on top of his game.  With the signing of Aaron, together with Brodie, Julian and Dane, we now have a core group of key players committed long-term to the All Blacks and their Super teams, which is fantastic.”

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen added: “It’s outstanding news for Aaron and for the All Blacks.  With a number of senior players leaving at the end of this year, Aaron and other players will play a key role in the team as we face the exciting challenges coming up over that period, including the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017.  We look forward to working with him.”

Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph commented:  “Since I have known Aaron, he has blossomed into one of the best halfbacks I have seen. In a sense he is redefining the halfback role by the way he plays, and you know players like that don’t come along that often.”

Highlanders’ General Manager Roger Clark added; “Aaron’s commitment to the Highlanders until 2019 is fantastic news.  He is such an important member of the team and leadership group, and it’s great to have that commitment from him to the team and the organisation.”

Manawatu Rugby CEO John Knowles said:  “Aaron remains a very important part of our community and we are delighted that he has recommitted to Manawatu.  Every time he comes home he is out and about visiting schools and rugby clubs and inspiring the next generation of rugby players and we certainly appreciate his support.”

Aaron Smith – mini biography

Aaron Smith, or “Nugget” as he is affectionately known by his team mates, started his professional career in 2008 at the age 19 for the Manawatu Turbos. In 2011 after consistently strong performances in the ITM Cup Smith earned a position in the highly successful Maori All Blacks, coached by Jamie Joseph.  Subsequently offered a Super Rugby contract with the Highlanders, Smith made his debut in 2011.  Smith has been the Highlanders first-choice halfback for the last four seasons. In 2012, after an outstanding Super Rugby season, Smith was selected for the All Blacks and made his first appearance in the iconic black jersey against Ireland on 9 June 2012. Smith’s trademark bullet pass and fast-paced style suited the All Blacks’ expansive game and he cemented himself in the starting team in 2013. He was awarded the Tom French Memorial Trophy for the Maori Rugby Player of the Year in 2014 - and with 41 All Blacks Tests to date - Smith is generally regarded as one of the best halfbacks in the world.

AARON SMITH - ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO

Media note:  Smith will be available for comment together with Roger Clark at a media stand up at Highlanders HQ in Dunedin at 1.00PM today.  For further information please contact Amanda Gould on 021 223 8840.

2016 Highlanders Home Games

MEDIA RELEASE - 28 September 2015

2016 Highlanders Draw

Super Rugby enters an exciting new era with the inclusion of teams from Argentina and Japan. Teams will play six matches within their own Conference, five against an Australasian Conference, four against a South African Conference and will have two byes across the 17-week Regular Season. The Highlanders will play six games against other New Zealand teams, all five Australian teams and four games against Africa 2 (which includes Kings, Lions, Sharks and the Argentinean Team). 

The Regular Season will be followed by a knockout Super Rugby Finals Series featuring eight teams; the four conference winners plus the three next highest-ranked teams from the Australasian Group and the next highest-ranked team from the South African Group. Conference winners will be seeded 1-4 based upon overall points from the Regular Season and the highest-ranked team will play at home in each match-up.

The Highlanders start their 2016 campaign in Auckland against the Blues before a 2015 Super Rugby Final rematch against the Hurricanes at home (venue TBC) and then the Lions the following week. Round three sees the reigning champions head to Sydney to play the Waratahs and then Melbourne to take on the Rebels before returning to New Zealand to play the Force in round six. The team will then head back over the ditch to play the Reds in Brisbane in round seven before their first bye in round 8, this is followed by two home games against the Sharks and Brumbies before heading up north to play the Chiefs. Round 12 holds the classic mainland derby where the Highlanders play the Crusaders at home leading into their second bye in round 13. In round 14 the Highlanders travel to Hurricanes territory and then the real travel begins with games against the Kings and the Argentinean team, in South African and Argentina respectively, before coming home to play their final game of the regular season in round 17 against the Chiefs. 

HIGHLANDERS HOME GAMES:

Preseason – Highlanders v Toulon – Saturday 6th February, Siu Sai Wan Stadium, Hong Kong

Preseason – Highlanders v Crusaders – Thursday 11th February 5.45pm, Fred Booth Park, Waimumu

Preseason – Highlanders v Waratahs – Friday 19th February 5.45pm, Queenstown Recreation Ground   

R2 – Highlanders v Hurricanes – Saturday 5th March 7.35pm

R3 – Highlanders v Lions – Saturday 12th March 7.35pm

R6 – Highlanders v Force – Friday 1st April 7.35pm

R9 – Highlanders v Sharks – Friday 22nd April 7.35pm

R10 – Highlanders v Brumbies – Saturday 30 April 5.15pm

R12 – Highlanders v Crusaders – Friday 13th May 7.35pm

R17 – Highlanders v Chiefs – Saturday 16th July 7.35pm

Please note that six games will be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium with the venue of the 7th game to be confirmed. Once all games have been assigned to a venue we will confirm which six are to be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium and which game will be at an alternate venue.

Click here to download 2016 Draw (all teams)

END.

Highlanders announce loose forward acquisitions for 2016

The Highlanders will welcome Liam Squire (Tasman and Chiefs) and Luke Whitelock (Canterbury and Crusaders) to the team in 2016 (both on one year contracts). Squire has played for the Chiefs over the last two seasons, although his appearances were limited this season due to injury. He has played a significant role in the success of the Tasman team over the last few ITM Cup seasons as a strong ball carrier who can breach defences. Whitelock, an All Black in 2013 has played 50 Super Rugby games and will help to add further depth to the Highlanders loose forward stocks after the departures of Nasi Manu and John Hardie.

Highlanders Head Coach, Jamie Joseph added, ‘we are delighted to have secured Liam’s and Luke’s services, we were looking for a strong ball carrying eight who would suit our style of play and we believe Liam fits that description. Luke’s Super Rugby experience and versatility will be a real asset to our group, we’re looking forward to having him join the Highlanders.”

Whitelock commented that he was “looking forward to coming down to Dunedin and being with the Highlanders next year. I have heard a lot of great things about the culture that has been developed down there. Squire also commented that he was “looking forward to getting down there, getting to know everyone and seeing what Dunedin is all about”.

Liam 

Liam Squire

Height 1.96m

Weight 113kg

Born 20/03/1991

Position No 8

Club Marist

ProvincialTeam Tasman

Provincial Debut 2011

Provincial Caps 28

Super Rugby Debut 2014 v Highlanders (Chiefs)

Super Caps 14

 Luke

Luke Whitelock

Height 1.94m

Weight 112kg

Born 29/01/1991

Position Loose Forward

Club Canterbury

Provincial Team Canterbury

Provincial Debut 2011 v Wellington

Provincial Caps 34

Super Rugby Debut 2012 v Chiefs (Crusaders)

Super Caps 50

Test Rugby Debut 2013 v Japan

Test Caps 1

 

END

Highlanders announce young and exciting mid-fielders

Thompson Faddes

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

The Highlanders have confirmed two exciting new midfield signings for the 2016 season. Canterbury’s Rob Thompson and Otago’s Matt Faddes, both have had eye catching performances in the ITM Cup this season.

Thompson, is an exciting player who debuted for Canterbury in 2013 and after a solid year earned a wider training group contract with the Crusaders leading to his Super Rugby debut against the Blues in 2014. A powerful runner, who has the strength to play in the midfield and the speed to play in the outside backs, Thompson will provide versatility and depth to the Highlanders midfield stocks.

Thompson commented that “the Highlanders play an attractive style of rugby that appeals to me, they look to be a quality outfit and I’m looking forward to getting down there and doing my bit to continue the success they are enjoying.”

Faddes, like backs coach Tony Brown, grew up in South Otago and has been playing for Otago since 2011, debuting against North Harbour. Faddes has concentrated on fifteens rugby this season having had a stint with Sevens after being called into New Zealand Sevens team in 2013 and ended up helping them to a world series win in London. Having played most of his rugby at wing or fullback he has made the centre position his own this year for Otago using his pace and strength to good effect.

Faddes said when asked about joining the Highlanders, “I’m stoked to be playing for the Highlanders in 2016. It has always been a dream of mine from a young age coming from South Otago. Just really looking forward to next year’s opportunities”.

Asst. Coach, Tony Brown said, “we were looking for versatile players with good skill sets and speed, with a little bit of experience. Both Rob and Matt provide that for us, giving us multiple options in the backs. They are both young and exciting players for the future who had stand-out seasons in the ITM cup this year, scoring 16 tries between them.” 

END

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

www.thehighlanders.co.nz

HIGHLANDERS ANNOUNCE 2016 SQUAD

MEDIA RELEASE - 28 October 2015

The Highlanders have announced their squad to contest the 2016 Investec Super Rugby competition.

The 38-man squad has 29 players returning from the 2015 team. Mid-season injury replacements, Daniel Lienert-Brown and James Lentjes return on full contracts. While the loose forward stocks have been bolstered by Liam Squire (Tasman) and Luke Whitelock (Canterbury), after the departures of experienced campaigners, Nasi Manu and John Hardie. Also joining the forwards is Siosiua Halanukonuka (Tasman), the Tongan-born prop has had a solid season for Tasman and hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate (Auckland) who will add some depth to the front row. Craig Millar (Otago) returns to the squad after a one year hiatus due to injury as well as teammate, lock, Jackson Hemopo, who debuted for the Highlanders in 2015 after coming into the squad as injury cover.

Young and exciting midfielders Rob Thompson (Canterbury) and Matt Faddes (Otago) come into the backs after being stand-outs in their ITM Cup teams and collecting 16 tries between them. First five-eighth, Hayden Parker, who had limited game time in 2015 due to a shoulder injury that required surgery will spend the next couple of months in Japan with Panasonic before returning for the start of the 2016 season. Fan-favourite, Fumiaki Tanaka, will return early in the new year for his fourth season with the Highlanders. 

Also included in the 38-man squad is 19-year old Patelesio (Sio) Tomkinson. Tomkinson is an exciting player with a big future who has made his debut for Otago in the ITM cup this year. 

FORWARDS

Alex Ainley, Shane Christie, Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Elliot Dixon, Brendon Edmonds, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Ross Geldenhuys, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Jackson Hemopo, Josh Hohneck, Daniel Lienert-Brown, James Lentjes, Craig Millar, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Dan Pryor, Mark Reddish, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock and Joe Wheeler

BACKS

Marty Banks, Richard Buckman, Jason Emery, Matt Faddes, Malakai Fekitoa, Waisake Naholo, Patrick Osborne, Hayden Parker, Josh Renton, Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Fumiaki Tanaka, Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Ryan Tongia and Teihorangi Walden

CLICK HERE for the 2016 Highlanders Squad Guide

END 

Sopoaga commits to Highlanders and New Zealand Rugby

MEDIA RELEASE - 17 November 2015

LIMA SOPOAGA COMMITS TO HIGHLANDERS AND NEW ZEALAND RUGBY

The Highlanders are delighted to announce that first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga has recommitted to  New Zealand Rugby and the Investec Super Rugby champions through until the end of the 2018 season.

24-year-old Sopoaga has played 49 games for the Highlanders and made his All Blacks Test debut this year against the Springboks in South Africa. Currently he holds the season record for points scored by a Highlander with 191 in 2015.  He is the second-ranked Highlander for most career points on 453 (behind current assistant coach Tony Brown). Considered an essential member of the  Highlanders team, Sopoaga’s accurate boot and skilful running game are credited with helping the southern men to their first ever Super Rugby title in 2015.

Sopoaga said: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to sign to the Highlanders until 2018. I owe a lot to the coaching staff and the organisation for sticking by me and allowing me to develop not only as a player but as a person. I wouldn't be where I am today without the great team culture, teammates, coaches and medical staff. I’m looking forward to my future with the club.”

Sopoaga joins teammate Aaron Smith, who also announced a lengthy contract extension earlier this year, their commitment to the team augurs well for the future prospects of Highlanders’ rugby.  Both Sopoaga and Smith have been nominated for the Investec Super Rugby Player of the Year at the 2015 Steinlager New Zealand Rugby Awards being held in December.  

New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Rugby Neil Sorensen said: “This is just awesome news for Highlanders fans.  Lima is a class act, and has shown in both the All Blacks and Highlanders jerseys that he has some fantastic skills.  It’s exciting to think that we’re just scratching the surface of what this young man can deliver.”

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph said:  “Lima has worked really hard in the past few seasons to develop his game, he has grown into a skilful first five and become an important member of our team. What’s more exciting is that I don’t think he has achieved his full potential yet and is only going to get better.”

Highlanders’ General Manager Roger Clark added; “Lima came to us as 19-yearold and had to overcome some pretty significant injuries in those early seasons, so it’s great to see how far he has come and the maturity he has shown in his game for a player who’s still very young. We’re excited to see what the future holds for him.”

Sopoaga and Highlanders teammate, Waisake Naholo, are currently in England with the Barbarians preparing to take on Argentina on the 21st  November.

 

Lima Sopoaga – mini biography

Lima Sopoaga, was identified as a rugby talent at a young age but had to overcome struggles with injury to realise his potential.

Wellington-born and raised, Sopoaga accepted an offer from the Highlanders in 2011 on the back of a strong debut season for the Wellington Lions in 2010. The same year, he was part of the New Zealand Under 20 team's Junior World Championship-winning campaign in Italy. Injuries limited his 2012 and 2013 Super Rugby seasons, but in 2014 and 2015, regular game-time has seen the playmaker’s game blossom, he has built a reputation for taking the ball strongly to the line and creating exciting opportunities for his powerful wings. He is also a very accurate goal kicker.

END

 

 

Highlanders look to bright new future under new operators

Highlanders look to bright new future under new operators

  •          Five year licence awarded to new operator
  •          A group of primarily South Island private investors take a 77 percent stake
  •          Local Provincial Unions, New Zealand Rugby – 23 percent stake

Investec Super Rugby team the Highlanders has embarked on a new era with local Provincial Unions and South Island private investors being granted a licence to operate the team until 2020.

The combined group of investors will inject substantial new capital into the 2015 Super Rugby Champions.

The South Island private investor group is headed by Dunedin businessman Matthew Davey, Founder and CEO of ticketing agency Ticket Direct.  

Otago, Southland and North Otago Provincial Unions will have a 13 percent stake in the new operator.  New Zealand Rugby (NZR) retains a 10 percent share for the first two years which will further assist putting the side on a secure commercial footing.   The new venture is being underwritten by a guarantee from the Invercargill City Council in exchange for guaranteed Highlanders games in Invercargill.

“The Highlanders are now well placed to face the future with renewed confidence and build on what has been a very successful year on the field,” said NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew.

“The investor group brings considerable commercial experience, particularly in the sports consumer marketing area and they have great knowledge of the business of rugby.  This experience, coupled with strong provincial union support, will really help the Highlanders build a sustainable business and take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

“For those who love rugby (like our group) it was simply too good an opportunity to pass up,” said Matthew Davey on behalf of the investor group.

“We see this as a good business opportunity but equally we have a strong emotional attachment to the South and for me in particular the Highlanders. They’ve been my team from the very early days of Super Rugby  but it’s also fair to say that we’ve been impressed with the work and results that Roger Clark, Jamie Joseph and the previous Highlanders board have achieved, in building the Highlanders up to a point where a group such as ours would be interested.

“We are an experienced, well-resourced an innovative group and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with rugby in the South and it’s certainly our ambition to build on the strong base that New Zealand Rugby has entrusted us with.”

 

Doug Harvie, independent director on the board of the new operating company said: “Having been involved with Provincial Unions and the Highlanders, I am very pleased with this investment consortium taking the reins for the ensuing years. The commercial acumen they bring is exceptional, and will put the Highlanders in the very best position to build on last year’s success.”

Today’s announcement completes the process begun in December 2011 with licences now awarded to operators of all five Investec Super Rugby teams. 

“When we embarked on this process we aimed to ensure the foundation for the professional game in this country remained strong and could adapt to future challenges and opportunities,” said Steve Tew. “We are now better equipped to ensure the professional game continues to feed a winning All Blacks team and keeps delivering for fans.”

 

BACKGROUND

Key facts Highlanders licence

  •          5 year licence to August 2020
  •          Shareholders:
    •    77 percent: private investor consortium of four individuals
    •    13 percent: Highlanders Provincial Unions; Otago Rugby Football Union, North Otago Rugby Football Union, Rugby Southland Ltd
    •    10 percent: New Zealand Rugby
  •          Seven person board – including one independent (Doug Harvie), two, one from Provincial Unions and New Zealand Rugby, four from private investors

Background on Investec Super Rugby Licences

The operators of the five Super Rugby teams are owned by New Zealand Rugby when originally set up, and were run by boards representing the provincial unions in the local region and independent board members. Reviews into the financial sustainability and structure of Super Rugby and franchises identified the need to reinvigorate the franchise model and provide for additional investment to improve its financial sustainability.

Expressions of interest were called for in December 2011 for four of the five licences. The Highlanders were not part of the process.

A Super Rugby Licensee’s responsibilities will include:

  •          management of the team both on-field and off-field including, the professional development for members of the squad
  •          marketing and promotion of matches and the team
  •          the Licensee will retain gate and sponsorship income and pay administration, additional coaching and management staff, training facilities, match operations, and marketing costs.

New Zealand Rugby will:

  •          retain ownership of the brands associated with each team
  •          continue to fund player and head (plus one assistant) coach contracts from centralised broadcasting and sponsorship revenue.
  •          continue to pay all travel and accommodation costs associated with the regular season (excluding playoffs) through SANZAR

END

Pulse Energy named as Principal Highlanders sponsor

 

 pulseEnergylogo CMYK

As of today, the Super Rugby champion Highlanders will be known as the Pulse Energy Highlanders.

This partnership delivers Pulse with the opportunity to leverage the rugby club’s significant exposure in the national and international television market and provides the Highlanders a dynamic and vibrant partner with supporters across the nation.

Pulse Energy is a full service energy retailer, providing gas and electricity, whose majority shareholder is South Island based Buller Electricity.

“In many ways we likened ourselves to the Highlanders, we have South Island origins and supporters and customers across the entire country”, Pulse Energy Chief Executive Officer Gary Holden said.  “Our decision to become the named sponsor of the Highlanders was based on our common goals of becoming leaders in our respective fields.  Being selected as the partner of the champions of Super Rugby is an extreme honour and we look forward to building our presence in the southern provinces and strengthening our brand nationwide.  The magnificent Forsyth Barr Stadium is a place we will proudly welcome our current and future customers and partners.

The partnership will bring Pulse Energy’s name to the front of the Highlanders’ jersey along with significant event brand exposure at Forsyth Barr, New Zealand’s other stadiums and overseas stadiums in Australia, South Africa and South America. The marketing benefit of having Pulse Energy’s name on the playing jersey, visible to an average of 350,000 viewers per game, is the fundamental advantage of the sponsorship for Pulse.

There will also be opportunities in conjunction with Pulse Energy for both Highlanders coaches and players to continue their work in the community promoting rugby and developing young talent.

Pulse Energy Highlanders Chief Executive Officer Roger Clark is delighted to welcome the new principal sponsor aboard in 2016.  “We congratulate Pulse Energy in their vision to align with a Champion professional rugby club.  We see it as good business strategy, innovation and support for the community have long been hallmarks of successful business and this unique partnership certainly continues that trend,” he said.

“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 business operations both domestically and internationally. We are excited about taking the field in a jersey bearing the Pulse Energy logo, a jersey that already means a great deal to us will mean even more now.” he added.

 

 Branding Photo

 

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play French championship contenders Racing 92 in Hong Kong

Natixis, the international French bank, will bring French Top-14 league contenders Racing 92 back to Hong Kong for the third time in three seasons to play against defending Super Rugby champions Pulse Energy Highlanders in the Natixis Rugby Cup 2016.

Organised by the Hong Kong Rugby Union and SL Events, the Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 will be held on Saturday, 6 February 2016 at the 11,800-seat Siu Sai Wan Stadium, located in Hong Kong Island’s Eastern District.

The event was formally launched this afternoon in Hong Kong by Mr François Riahi, Chief Executive Officer Natixis, Corporate & Investment Banking, Asia Pacific; Mr Pieter Schats, Chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, and Mr Vern Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Rugby Union.

In one of the most innovative match-ups in the modern game, and another rugby first for Hong Kong, the Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 pits two of the world’s premier club sides in a unique North-South challenge match. The Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 will be the first match to feature a Super Rugby club in Asia and also marks the first occasion that the Highlanders have played a match against competition from outside of their own hemisphere.

François Riahi, CEO Natixis CIB Asia Pacific, said, “We are delighted to announce the third edition of the Natixis Rugby Cup, which reflects our commitment to supporting rugby and its development in Hong Kong and Asia, and to helping to spread the positive values of rugby.

“The fixture is truly unique, and we are honoured to host two clubs of such calibre and international reputation for what promises to be a memorable sporting event, and a wonderful day of rugby for spectators at the stadium and watching on television from around the world.”

Local fans will welcome the return of Natixis-sponsored Racing 92, who have played here in the two previous Natixis Rugby Cup games: in 2013 versus Stade Toulousain in the first match between two French professional teams in Asia, and in 2014 in a unique engagement that saw the historic French club take on an invitational XV from fellow Natixis-sponsored club Hong Kong Football Club Rugby Section.

Arnaud Tourtoulou, Chief Executive Officer of Racing 92 said, “Racing 92 is delighted to be returning to our home away from home in Hong Kong again in 2016, particularly to play in the Natixis Rugby Cup. We are excited to be meeting Super Rugby champions Highlanders and are confident that rugby and sporting fans worldwide will be riveted by this unique North-South match-up.”

Showcase match on cards as leading clubs head to Hong Kong

Racing 92 enter the Natixis Rugby Cup with perhaps the world’s most famous player, two-time Rugby World Cup champion Dan Carter, who recently joined the historic French club. Fresh from winning his third World Rugby Player of the Year award, Carter will prove a major attraction for fans in his first appearance in club colours here since playing in the Bledisloe Cup tests in Hong Kong in 2008 and 2010.

Alongside Carter, Racing 92 boasts eleven veterans of Rugby World Cup 2015; seven for France (Dimitri Szarzewski, Brice Dulin, Yannick Nyanga, Rémi Talès, Bernard Le Roux, Alexandre Dumoulin and Eddy Ben Arous), two for Wales (Luke Charteris and Mike Philipps) and one for Italy (Martin Castrogiovanni). With such star power and in mid-season form, Racing 92 will arrive in Hong Kong hungry to take home the Natixis Rugby Cup. The team currently lies in third place on the French Top 14 table and are also featuring in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

For the Highlanders, the match will provide strong pre-season preparation as they look to defend their first-ever Super Rugby title, won in 2015 with a team laden with Rugby World Cup–champion All Blacks.

Four Highlanders were selected in New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup winning squad including co-captains Aaron Smith (halfback) and Ben Smith (back three) as well as Waisake Naholo (outside back) and centre Malakai Fekitoa.  With all of Highlanders’ Rugby World Cup selections coming from the backline, local fans are in for a display of running rugby in February.

Several other Highlanders players have also been capped for New Zealand and came close to inclusion in the final 31-man squad for the recently completed Rugby World Cup, including up and coming star Lima Sopoaga, who is potentially the heir apparent to Daniel Carter’s No. 10 jersey for the All Blacks. Sopoaga, who has re-signed with the Highlanders through 2018, set a new record for points in a season for the club in 2014/15, proving a key to unleashing their dangerous backs in attack.

Highlanders Chief Executive Officer Roger Clarke said, “‘The chance to play such a quality opposition as Racing 92, in a venue like Hong Kong, is a very exciting prospect for the Pulse Energy Highlanders. This will be the first time we as a club have played in that part of the world. These sort of opportunities don’t come along every day so everyone is looking forward to the experience.”

Jamie Joseph, Head Coach of Highlanders, added, “Our preseason is a very important part of our preparation for Super Rugby. We look to provide opportunities for the team to be tested in different ways, so we view this game as an ideal way to do that. It will certainly be a stimulating challenge for the guys and it’s a match I know they are looking forward to.”

The Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 re-confirms the long-established commitment of Natixis to rugby in Europe and Asia. The French bank has sponsored Racing 92 since 2007. In addition to sponsoring the two previous Natixis Rugby Cups, Natixis is also title sponsor of Hong Kong Football Club Rugby Section, one of Asia’s oldest and most prestigious rugby teams and sports clubs.

The Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 also continues the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s tradition of hosting groundbreaking rugby occasions, which include the first ever Bledisloe Cup played on neutral territory in 2008 – and again in 2010; the first ever British & Irish Lions match in Asia (versus the Barbarians in 2013) and the first ever Asian Zone Olympic qualifier for Rugby Sevens in November 2015.

Note to editors: 

This match was originally announced as being played between Highlanders and Toulon on 13 August 2015.

About NATIXIS

Natixis is the international corporate, investment, insurance and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France with 36 million clients spread over two retail banking networks, Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne.

With more than 16,000 employees, Natixis has a number of areas of expertise that are organized into three main business lines: Corporate & Investment Banking, Investment Solutions & Insurance, and Specialized Financial Services.

A global player, Natixis has its own client base of companies, financial institutions and institutional investors as well as the client base of individuals, professionals and small and medium-size businesses of Groupe BPCE’s banking networks.

Listed on the Paris stock exchange, it has a solid financial base with a CET1 capital under Basel 3(1) of €12.9 billion, a Basel 3 CET1 Ratio(1) of 11.2% and quality long-term ratings (Standard & Poor’s: A / Moody’s: A2 / Fitch Ratings: A).

(1) Based on CRR-CRD4 rules published on June 26, 2013, including the Danish compromise - no phase-in except for DTAs on loss carry-forwards.

Figures as at September 30, 2015

About Hong Kong Rugby Union

Founded in 1952, the Hong Kong Rugby Union is a member of the International Rugby Board and a founding member of the Asian Rugby Football Union. The HKRU is committed to developing rugby in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. The HKRU is the organizer of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and the only international rugby union to have hosted two Rugby World Cup Sevens events (1997 and 2005). Apart from organising two Bledisloe Cup matches in 2008 and 2010, the HKRU hosted the first-ever British & Irish Lions game played in Asia in 2013 and the first regional qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympics, when Rugby Sevens will mark its Games’ debut - in November 2015.

Follow us on:  www.facebook.com/hkrugby and www.twitter.com/HongKongRugby.

About SL Events

Based in Paris, SL Events conceives, creates, produces and commercialises proprietary sporting events to meet the needs and satisfaction of fans.  SL Events is the event organization arm of Sportlab Group and Team One Groupe.

SL Events is the creator of Defi Run by Assu 2000, The Hemisphere Cup and The Running Summit. It also organized the Natixis Cup in 2013, Holi Run Toulon and the Garmin Triathlon de Paris 2016.

For more, visit http://www.legroupesportlab.fr/fr/projetssle.

ENDS

Eftpos Specialists Joins the Pulse Energy Highlanders Team

Eftpos Specialists Group photo

 

Eftpos Specialists is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with the reigning Super Rugby Champions, the Pulse Energy Highlanders.   From the 2016 Super Rugby season Eftpos Specialists will be the official Payments and Eftpos Partner of the Highlanders, as they look to win back to back titles.

Both Eftpos Specialists and the Highlanders are Dunedin born and bred, with both organisations displaying the passion, attitudes, and beliefs that are so strongly associated with the South Island of New Zealand.    

Eftpos Specialists is a nationwide provider of Eftpos and payment solutions with local franchises spread throughout New Zealand offering local service to local businesses. 

“The core values and attitude of the Highlanders appealed to Eftpos Specialists; both organisations are proud to call Dunedin home and both have fans and customers spread throughout the country.”  Eftpos Specialists Chief Executive Officer Matthew Hawtin said  “We are looking forward to working with the Highlanders in communities throughout New Zealand to raise the profile of both of our organisations”.

Highlanders Commercial Manager Mike Kerr said “We are thrilled to welcome Eftpos Specialists to the team.  A local business success story that operates throughout our region and we are delighted to have them backing us in 2016”.

Eftpos Specialists Joins the Highlanders TeamEftpos Specialists Group logo 2013

FARMLANDS CUP - Highlanders v Crusaders Ticket Update

Farmlands EXCLUSIVE presale starts today!  Check out the image below for details.

Highlanders Members presale starts Monday 18th Feb, keep an eye on your email for details on how to purchase (online only).

Limited tickets available so make sure you get in quick!

Public Sale starts Monday 1 February online at www.ticketdirect.co.nz/highlanders

 

FAR 03571 Farmlands-Cup Pre-Sale A4 FINAL

JAMIE JOSEPH TO COACH IN JAPAN

MEDIA RELEASE - 20 January                                     

Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO Roger Clark today announced that Head Coach Jamie Joseph has signed to coach Japan. “Obviously we have mixed emotions about Jamie moving on; we would have liked him to sign a new contract with our organization, however we understand his reasons for signing with Japan. After six seasons coaching in Super Rugby the new challenge of international rugby and the opportunity to coach the host nation at a World Cup proved to be too enticing. We couldn’t have asked any more of Jamie over the last five years; he has put his heart and soul into this club and delivered a championship.”

Joseph will take up the reins in Japan at the completion of the 2016 Investec Super Rugby season. “The timing of the announcement is not ideal but it clears up all the speculation of the last few weeks and I know Jamie well enough to know that he will continue to give everything he has to the Highlanders until that final whistle blows. That’s just who he is, so we have no concerns as a club on that front” Clark added.

The search for a new head coach will begin in earnest as soon as possible, Clark commented “clearly in conjunction with the NZRU we will be mapping out a timeline for the appointment of a new head coach.  It will be a thorough process and we will ensure the right person is appointed to lead the Highlanders through our next phase.”

Joseph, who has strong ties to Japan having played for the national side at the 1999 World Cup and played and coached for Sannix said the decision to leave the Highlanders was not an easy one.

 “The decision to move on from the Highlanders was the toughest decision I have ever had to make in my coaching career. The club, the players and the people I have worked with over the last five years mean a great deal to me and the thought of that coming to an end is tough. I take great pride in what this club and all the people within it have been able to achieve in a relatively short time. I will always be extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been involved with the club and, no matter which teams I am coaching in the future, the Highlanders will always hold a special place in my heart. In a coaching career though you have to keep looking for the next challenge, so you can grow and get better as a coach; for me the challenge of the next few years with Japan is what I need to keep moving forward. International rugby is completely different from coaching at Super Rugby level and brings with it a whole new set of challenges which I am keen to tackle. While I am looking forward to Japan, for now my focus is still with the Highlanders and ensuring we can build on last year’s success”

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders’ team to play Racing 92 in Hong Kong

MEDIA RELEASE – 4 FEBRUARY 2016

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will begin their 2016 preseason campaign on Saturday 6th February in Hong Kong when they context the Natixis Cup against the Racing 92. The game is being played at Sui Sai Wan Stadium in Hong Kong kicking-off at 5.00pm local time (10.00pm NZT) and will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 2 from 9.55pm.

The first hit-out of the year will see the twenty-eight players named with new signing, Liam Squire starting at No 8 in his first game for the Highlanders and local player, Matt Faddes, running out as full back.

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Racing 92, Sui Sai Wan Stadium, Hong Kong, Sat 6th February, 5.00pm (local time)

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie (C)

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Josh Renton

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Richard Buckman

13. Jason Emery

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Matt Faddes            

 

Reserves:

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Siosiua Halanukonuka

19. Jackson Hemopo

20. Sio Tomkinson

21. Liam Howley

22. Malakai Fekitoa

23. Tei Walden

24. Ryan Tongia

25. Marty Banks

26. Luke Whitelock

27. James Lentjes

28. Mark Reddish

 

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

 END

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Crusaders in Waimumu

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will take on the Crusaders in the purpose built and unique setting of Fred Booth Park in Waimumu. The game will be played as part of the Southern Field Days taking place in Waimumu.
 
The Highlanders will field an almost completely different starting XV to the one that narrowly lost to Racing 92 in Hong Kong last weekend. Josh Renton, Patrick Osborne and Matt Faddes are the only three that started that game that are included as starters for this fixture. Head Coach Jamie Joseph said “obviously we wanted to give our entire squad some game time over the first two games. They have all been training well and deserve a chance to put their best foot forward for selection when the competition starts in a few weeks".
 
Pulse Energy Highlanders v Crusaders, Fred Booth Park , Waimumu Thursday 11th Feb 6.00pm
1.   Brendon Edmonds
2.   Liam Coltman
3.   Siosiua Halanukonuka
4.   Mark Reddish
5.   Tom Franklin
6.   Gareth Evans
7.   James Lentjes
8.   Luke Whitelock ( C )
9.   Josh Renton
10. Marty Banks
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Teihorangi Walden
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Matt Faddes
 
Reserves
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Joe Wheeler
20. Sio Tomkinson
21. Aaron Smith
22. Liam Squire
23. Jason Emery
24. Ryan Tongia
25. Lima Sopoaga
26. Elliot Dixon
27.Shane Christie
28. Jackson Hemopo
 
Head Coach: Jamie Joseph Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown ,Scott McLeod Manager: Paul McLaughlan
For further information contact Greg O’Brien  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   021384784
 
END

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the NSW Waratahs in Queenstown

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will play the NSW Waratahs in Queenstown this Friday,the game will complete the Highlanders three match preseason. So far the record is a loss and a draw, one week out from the opening fixture against the Blues the team will be looking for a strong performance against last year’s semi-finalists.

Head coach Jamie Joseph has named a strong combination to take the field with all three World Cup All Blacks taking the field for the first time in 2016.Also having their first matches for 2016 as will be Fumiaki Tanaka and Hayden Parker, back from their championship winning efforts with Panasonic in Japan. Parkers return will see Marty Banks rested this week.

In his debut for the Highlanders powerful Canterbury midfielder Rob Thompson will combine with Malakai Fekitoa and the All Black pairing of Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga will be the pivots. Dan Pryor is recovered from his knee injury and will take his place on the bench with co-captain Shane Christie taking a break this week.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v NSW Waratahs, Queenstown Recreation Centre, Friday 19th February - kick-off 6.00pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Luke Whitelock

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Mark Reddish

20. Gareth Evans

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Elliot Dixon

23. Jason Emery

24. Teihorangi Walden

25. Matt Faddes

26. Hayden Parker

27. Dan Pryor

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

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Blues

 

Head Coach of the Pulse Energy Highlanders Jamie Joseph has named an experienced line-up for the opening match of the 2016 Investec Super Rugby competition against the Blues on Friday night. Joseph was able to call on all but two of his squad with only Mark Reddish and Marty Banks unavailable due to injuries sustained in the preseason.

The forwards feature former Chiefs player, Liam Squire, at number eight in his debut Investec Super Rugby competition match for the Highlanders. Shane Christie will co-captain the team from the openside and young loosehead prop Daniel Lienert-Brown earns a start after some impressive preseason form. Alex Ainley and Dan Pryor return from their off season injuries to take their places on the bench.

The exciting trio of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne will combine at the back and All Black first-five Lima Sopoaga will direct the attack. The game will be a big occasion for two young Otago backs Teihorangi Walden at second-five and outside back Matt Faddes as both will be making their debuts. Walden a former NZU20 representative will start the match, while Faddes a NZ Sevens player is in the reserves.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Blues, Eden Park, Fri Feb 26th 7.35pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie ( cc)

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Teihorangi Walden

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( cc )

 

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Alex Ainley

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Hayden Parker

23. Matt Faddes

 

Unavailable due to injury: Mark Reddish (shoulder), Marty Banks (hamstring)

 

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

Naholo and Tanaka sidelined for this week's clash against Hurricanes

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will have to do without Waisake Naholo and Fumiaki Tanaka for at least the next month, or longer, due to injury. Naholo sustained a new fracture to the same leg that he injured before the World Cup last year. The injury occurred late in the game against the Blues and the fracture was confirmed by X-Ray on Monday. Team doctor Greg Macleod said “while this is very unfortunate for Waisake, the positive news is that this injury is not as bad as his last fracture. He is already managing well and it’s expected his rehab will take 6 – 8 weeks”.

Fumiaki Tanaka injured his calf during the last training in Auckland and was replaced on the bench by Josh Renton for the Blues match. “Fumi has torn his calf and we expect the recovery to take 4 weeks, “added Macleod

Head coach Jamie Joseph was philosophical about the injuries “to lose players for an extended period is always disappointing but you have to expect injuries to occur  at some point , as a group we simply deal with it and move on, the focus for the players now will be to rehab well and work to make themselves available again”.

Naholo will not be returning to Fiji for treatment as he did last year, his rehab will be under the guidance of Highlanders team doctor Greg Macleod.

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Hurricanes

Only three changes to the starting team for this week’s first home game of the 2016 season against the Hurricanes. Brendon Edmonds who was the starting loosehead last season returns at the expense of Daniel Lienert-Brown who goes to the bench. Number Eight Liam Squire who made a big impression in the first half against the Blues will make his impact from the bench this week. Luke Whitelock takes his place at the back of the scrum in his 51st super rugby game and debut for the Highlanders.

The withdrawal of Waisake Naholo due to injury provides local boy Matt Faddes with a real chance to stake a claim for the vacant wing berth. Faddes showed glimpses of his blistering pace late in the Blues match and will no doubt be looking forward to more opportunities in his starting debut.

Rounding out the 23, Tasman prop Siosiua Halanukonuka, gets his first opportunity with the Highlanders. Jason Emery covers the outside backs and will make his 28th appearance if he makes the field on Saturday.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Sat Mar 5th 7.35pm

1. Brendon Edmonds
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Tom Franklin
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Elliot Dixon
7. Shane Christie ( cc)
8. Luke Whitelock
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Teihorangi Walden
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Matt Faddes
15. Ben Smith ( cc )

Reserves
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Siosiua Halanukonuka
19. Liam Squire
20. Dan Pryor
21. Josh Renton
22. Hayden Parker
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg), Marty Banks (knee) Fumiaki Tanaka (calf)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

From The Coaches Desk

As always seems to be the way when we play NZ conference teams Saturday's game was a very physical battle.

The game really came down to us converting a couple of the several opportunities we created. The Hurricanes defence was aggressive and accurate and we needed the full eighty to finally get on top.

While I was proud of the way the guys stuck to the task, aspects of our game weren’t accurate enough, particularly our kicking game. To use kicking as an attacking weapon you need to be smart about where and how you kick and we were a little ragged in that respect.

We’re certainly expecting another quick game this week, the Lions are a big and mobile unit and already have two wins on this tour.

We will need to be on our game against a team that performed very well last year and is potentially one of the best South African sides this season. It was fairly hot under the roof last Saturday but it’s fantastic to have guaranteed good conditions for every home game.

If we can execute our game plan well this week I think we can all expect a fast thrilling encounter as both teams like to play at pace and use the ball.

Thanks for the amazing support we get at the game - it makes our home stadium, unique to us. All the players love playing at home in front of passionate, vocal supporters. So we encourage you all to get down to the park and support your team – it’s going to be another exciting game.

 

Cheers, Jamie, Brownie and team.

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Emirates Lions

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph has refreshed the forward pack for Saturday night’s game against the Lions. Josh Hohneck and Tom Franklin get a break fron the starting 23 while Shane Christie and Elliot Dixon move to the bench. Siosiua Halnukonuka will get his first start while Alex Ainley replaces Franklin in the middle row.Luke Whitelock moves from number eight to blindside flanker making way for Liam Squire at the back of the scrum. Dan Pryor will start at openside giving the pack a great deal of mobility in what is expected to be a fast paced game.

In the backs hard running midfielder Rob Thompson will make his debut for the Highlanders at second-five and Jason Emery, who performed well last week, will again look to make impact from the bench. Ben Smith will captain the side.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Emirates Lions, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Sat Mar 12th 7.35pm

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Siosiua Halanukonuka

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Luke Whitelock

7.   Dan Pryor

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Matt Faddes

15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Elliot Dixon

20. Shane Christie

21. Josh Renton

22. Hayden Parker

23. Jason Emery

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg), Marty Banks (knee), Fumiaki Tanaka (calf), Tei Walden (concussion)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

The search for a new Highlanders Head Coach begins

The search for a new Head Coach for the Pulse Energy Highlanders is officially under way.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said the Highlanders Board and New Zealand Rugby would look to finalise a replacement before the end of the current season.

“We are keen to get this process under way now so we are actively seeking expressions of interest over the next month or so with a view to making an appointment mid-year.  We want to cast the net far and wide and now is the ideal time to be in the market as the Japanese season has concluded and the Northern hemisphere season is drawing to a close.”

Current Head Coach Jamie Joseph will take up his role as Head Coach of Japan at the end of the 2016 Investec Super Rugby season and will guide their national team through to their campaign as host union of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

As the current Super Rugby champions it is hoped there will be healthy interest in the Highlanders position. “We are looking for a quality field to choose from.  We are very proud of what we have achieved here already, and we are proud of the environment we have.  There’s a very strong sense of community in our Highlanders family and we know that it’s a fantastic place to live and work.  We’re looking forward to having someone new add more value to that,” Clark said.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said the Highlanders had established a strong professional rugby environment under Jamie Joseph and the new Head Coach would build on much of the good work already achieved.

“This is an exciting time for the Highlanders - as current champions they have great momentum heading into the next few years and we are excited about what the future holds for them.”

The Highlanders will work NZ Rugby throughout the recruitment process.

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play the NSW Waratahs

Liam Coltman will start in his 50th game for the Pulse Energy Highlanders against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Friday night. Coltman, Highlander number 199, made his debut in 2013 and is known as a hard-working, uncompromising hooker. Injuries have forced changes to the pack that defeated the Lions last week with lock Joe Wheeler and versatile loosie Dan Pryor ruled out due to concussion. Luke Whitelock is also side-lined with a knee injury. After a week’s rest Tom Franklin returns to lock the scrum and co-captain Shane Christie starts at openside , joining Elliot Dixon and a recovered Liam Squire in the back row. Mark Reddish is back from injury to take his place on the bench.

Ryan Tongia for an injured Patrick Osborne is the only change to the backline giving Tongia his 3rd cap. This round four match-up is a repeat of last season’s semi-final, however the teams did meet during the preseason in Queenstown, where the Highlanders narrowly prevailed in a high-scoring affair.

NSW Waratahs v Pulse Energy Highlanders, Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Friday 18th March, 7.45pm (AEDT)

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Siosiua Halanukonuka

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Tom Franklin

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie( cc )

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Ryan Tongia

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Matt Faddes

15. Ben Smith ( cc )

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Mark Reddish

20. Gareth Evans

21. Josh Renton

22. Hayden Parker

23. Jason Emery

 

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg), Marty Banks (knee), Fumiaki Tanaka (calf), Tei Walden (concussion), Joe Wheeler (concussion), Dan Pryor (concussion), Josh Hohneck (head cut), Luke Whitelock (knee), Patrick Osborne (Hip)

 

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

 

From The Coaches Desk - March 16 2016

Today we’re on the road to Sydney to take on – the Waratahs, on Friday night at Allianz Stadium, and then on to Melbourne to play the Rebels the following Saturday. (this bit in the eDM, the rest in the news section)

Our win at home last week, was founded on good set piece and a determined defensive effort. We were able to convert the opportunities that presented themselves early in the second half. This was our attack at its best striking from long distance and punishing turnover ball. This week we are up against a very big and highly efficient Waratahs side. They have been there or thereabouts for the last several seasons. They boast over a couple of hundred test caps so are experienced and always tough at home. The challenge for us will be to maintain our defensive and set piece effort for the full eighty minutes. Our attack will create opportunities we just need to be good enough on the night to capitalise on them.

We have a few injuries this week and the depth in our squad will be tested but that is the nature of this competition, every week is a significant challenge and you just have to be up to it, or you come second.

We’ll be celebrating Liam Coltman’s 50th match on Friday night too – an awesome achievement and one we’re all really proud of.

Support at home last week was phenomenal and I know the group is keen to play well away to repay that home support.

Cheers,

Jamie, Brownie and the Coaching Team. 

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play the Western Force

A fresh locking combination and rotation in the loose forwards are the two significant changes to the starting team for the Pulse Energy Highlanders match against the Western Force on Friday night in Dunedin. Having just returned from a successful mini-tour to Australia the Highlanders will line up at Forsyth Barr Stadium with a pack that has five changes from the team that beat the Melbourne Rebels. Alex Ainley and Tom Franklin will start in the middle row of the scrum for the second time this season, with regular lock Joe Wheeler moving to the bench. Elliot Dixon, who was outstanding against the Waratahs, replaces Luke Whitelock at blindside, while co-captain Shane Christie moves to the bench to make way for Dan Pryor on the openside. Liam Coltman and Ash Dixon continue their competition for the starting hooker role with Coltman in the number 2 shirt this week and prop Daniel Lienert-Brown returns to the playing 23 after a week playing club rugby.

In the backs Matt Faddes returns from injury for Jack Wilson, and livewire halfback Fumiaki Tanaka has recovered from his calf strain to take the place of Josh Renton in the reserves.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Western Force, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Friday 1st April – Kick-off 7.35pm

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Siosiua Halanukonuka

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Tom Franklin

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Dan Pryor

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Pat Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Matt Faddes

15. Ben Smith (c)

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Josh Hohneck

19. Joe Wheeler

20. Shane Christie (cc)

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Hayden Parker

23. Jason Emery

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg)

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

Round 6: Highlanders v Force - Fri 1st April, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

A refreshed Force team came out firing in the first half and were first to cross the try-line through fullback Dane Haylett-Petty after capitalising on an uncharatersitic error from Highlanders winger, Patrick Osborne.

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Queensland Reds, Round 7

Injuries have forced the Pulse Energy Highlanders to make changes to their starting team ahead of the clash against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night. Loosehead prop Brendan Edmonds has been side-lined for the season with a serious knee injury. Daniel Lienert-Brown comes off the bench to replace Edmonds and will start in his seventeenth game for the club. Tasman prop, Ross Geldenhuys, returns to the playing 23, and together with Josh Hohneck, will provide a great depth of experience on the reserves bench.

A head laceration sustained in last week’s game has ruled Elliot Dixon out for the week, which will make way for Luke Whitelock to return to the starting team while Dan Pryor rotates to the bench for co-captain Shane Christie. After a week off to refresh Mark Reddish will start ahead of Tom Franklin at lock.

A concussion to co-captain Ben Smith will see him miss his first game of the season with Matt Faddes moving from wing to fullback and Jack Wilson, who had an impressive debut against the Melbourne Rebels, will start on the right wing in just his second outing for the club. Lima Sopoaga returns from injury to again partner with Aaron Smith and Hayden Parker will make his impact from the bench this week.

Queensland Reds v Pulse Energy Highlanders - Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 9st April – Kick-off 7.45pm AEST (9.45pm NZT)

 

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Siosiua Halanukonuka

4.   Mark Reddish

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Luke Whitelock

7.   Shane Christie (C)

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Pat Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Jack Wilson

15. Matt Faddes

 

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Ross Geldenhuys

18. Josh Hohneck

19. Tom Franklin

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Hayden Parker

23. Jason Emery

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg),Brendon Edmonds (knee),Ben Smith (concussion),Elliot Dixon (head cut), Marty Banks (ribs)

 

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

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play the Sharks

A refreshed Pulse Energy Highlanders team will run out under the roof on Saturday night after having a bye week in round eight. Co-Captain, Ben Smith, returns to the team after suffering a concussion during the last home game against the Force but has been cleared to play after two weeks rest. He takes his place at fullback with Matt Faddes moving to the right wing and Jack Wilson on the left wing. At second-five, Rob Thompson, makes way for Jason Emery who will make his seventh appearance for the season and first start for the season after impressing off the bench in Brisbane.

Several changes have been made to the forward pack as the Pulse Energy Highlanders anticipate an upfront battle against the Sharks with Ash Dixon coming in at hooker and Josh Hohneck and Tom Franklin returning to the starting line-up. Elliot Dixon has recovered from his head cut and will team up with in-form Liam Squire and Shane Christie in the loose forwards. Alex Ainley and Craig Millar have been included in the reserves for this game after some impressive club form.

There will be an ANZAC Observance pre-game on Saturday night beginning at approximately 7.20pm with involvement from staff from the HMNZS Otago, New Zealand Army, local RSA and local veterans.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Sharks - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Friday 22nd April (kick-off 7.35pm)

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie (Co-Captain)

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Jack Wilson

12. Jason Emery

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Matt Faddes

15. Ben Smith (Co-Captain)

 

Reserves

16. Liam Coltman

17. Craig Millar

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Alex Ainley

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Hayden Parker

23. Patrick Osborne

HIR0116 Instagram SHARKS 1080x1080

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg), Brendon Edmonds (knee), Marty Banks (ribs)

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

For further information contact Greg O’Brien  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   021384784

Benders Shout - PYO Voucher

Print me out and bring me to Forsyth Barr Stadium, Gate C to get free entry to Highlanders v Sharks - remember you must be wearing your jnr rugby club uniform too!

Thanks to Tux we have 500 free balls to give to the first 500 kids in their club uniform - gates open at 6.30pm.

Benders Shout

Parents please go to http://www.ticketdirect.co.nz/event/details/135600/pulse-energy-highlanders-v-sharks and use the PROMO CODE: BENDERSSHOUT to access $20.00 adult tickets

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Brumbies

 

A toe injury to Liam Coltman and the suspension of Jason Emery has forced changes to the Pulse Energy Highlanders team to take on the Brumbies in Invercargill on Saturday night. Coltman looks set to be sidelined for several weeks and Emery will sit out the next four weeks. Ash Dixon comes in for Coltman and the strong running Rob Thompson returns to the midfield. Alex Ainley is the only other change to the forward pack with Joe Wheeler rotating to the bench.

Patrick Osborne returns at left wing and Jack Wilson shifts on to the right wing while Matt Faddes will make his impact from the bench.  Hooker, Greg Pleasants-Tate, who has played one game for the Blues will make his debut for the Highlanders if he takes the field on Saturday night. Pleasants-Tate has been playing development and club rugby in Dunedin and will relish the opportunity to get more super rugby game time. Siosiua Halanukonuka returns to the bench after a week off.

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Tom Franklin

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie (CC)

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Jack Wilson

15. Ben Smith (CC)

 

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Craig Millar

18. Siosiua Halanukonuka

19. Joe Wheeler

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Hayden Parker

23. Matt Faddes

Unavailable due to injury: Marty Banks (ribs), Liam Coltman (foot)

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

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Chiefs

Waisake Naholo returns from injury after being out with a broken leg since the round one match against the Blues. After a three try performance in club rugby last weekend the explosive winger returns to reunite one of the most exciting back threes in the game. His much anticipated return and a concussion injury to Rob Thompson forces head coach, Jamie Joseph, to reshuffle his backline. Utility back, Matt Faddes, will get his first start at centre after previously playing on the wing and at fullback and Malakai Fekitoa moves to second-five. The timely return of Marty Banks from injury sees him take the place of an unlucky Hayden Parker who sustained a season ending knee injury at training last week.

In the forwards, co-captain Shane Christie will be side-lined for a few weeks with a hamstring injury. He is replaced at open side by Dan Pryor, Luke Whitelock returns at eight with James Lentjes making his first appearance for the season on the bench this week. The versatile Gareth Evans rounds out the loose forwards in the reserves while Otago loose head prop Aki Seiuli gets an opportunity to make hi Highlanders debut having come into the squad for the injured Brendon Edmonds.

Chiefs v Pulse Energy Highlanders, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, Sat 7th May 7.35pm

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)

 

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Siosiua Halanukonuka

19. James Lentjes

20. Gareth Evans

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Teihorangi Walden

 

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Coltman (foot), Rob Thompson (concussion), Hayden Parker (knee),

Liam Squire (hip)

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Crusaders

Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has been able to select a largely unchanged line-up for the battle of the mainland after coming through last week’s win against the Chiefs with no new injuries. There is just one change to the starting team that took the field in Hamilton last Saturday night, Joe Wheeler will start at lock in his 50th match for the club after debuting in 2013 against the Chiefs. Tom Franklin moves to the bench and the hard running, Liam Squire, comes into the reserves after recovering from his hip injury received against the Brumbies. Loosehead prop, Craig Millar, comes back into the playing 23 for his Otago teammate, Aki Seiuli.

Continuity in the backs with the midfield pairing of Malakai Fekitoa and Matt Faddes starting for the second week running and the exciting back three of Ben Smith, Pat Osborne and Waisake Naholo. The game will be played in front of a near capacity crowd of 23,000 is expected to be the match to watch this round and if history is any indication we can expect another epic encounter. The game will be preceded by the annual halls of residence match Knox College vs Selwyn College at 5pm, this match is expected to played in front of a few thousand parochial student supporters in the zoo.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Crusaders - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Friday 13th May 7.35pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Joe Wheeler

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)

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Craig Millar

18. Siosiua Halanukonuka

19. Tom Franklin

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

END

Osborne re-signs with the Highlanders

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.”

End

Highlanders named to play the Hurricanes in Wellington

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)

Reserves

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 announce Tony Brown to lead team in 2017

TonyBrown Scott Mcleod Mark Hammett

TONY BROWN APPOINTED HEAD COACH OF HIGHLANDERS FOR 2017
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
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    

Pulse Energy Highlanders begin preparations for Crusaders match

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.

End

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Crusaders in Oamaru

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

Reserves

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)

 

Tevita Li to join Highlanders in 2017

Exciting Blues Winger Tevita Li will link with the Pulse Energy Highlanders from 2017. In a move that mirrors former Blues players Malakai Fekitoa and Waisake Naholo, Li will move south looking for an opportunity to move his career forward.

“Obviously I will always be grateful to the Blues for giving me start in Super Rugby. I have absolutely enjoyed my time with the Blues, however I am at stage right now where I think a move to a different club will provide me the kick start I need to move my rugby to another level. It was a difficult decision and one that I took a lot of time over. Moving out of my home town, down to Dunedin, will present me with some new challenges as a person and take me out of my comfort zone a little bit. It will definitely challenge me to be a better player” Li said.

Li made his debut for the Blues in 2014 at the age of just 19 and made a further 16 appearances that year. In the same year he was a member of the NZU20 team and in 2015 won a world cup championship. During the 2015 tournament Li scored a hat-trick against France becoming the highest try-scorer in tournament history. This year he has been the starting left winger for the Blues and has scored four tries.

Highlanders head coach in waiting Tony Brown was excited by the prospect of Li heading south. “Tevita is an exciting young player with a great deal of potential, we are delighted to have recruited him to the Highlanders. I think he will fit in well down here and complement the skills we already have in our outside backs. We are looking forward to working with him next year.”

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said ‘fair to say three or four years ago players like Tevita may not have considered the Highlanders, but these days players carefully weigh up all their options and look to take the opportunity that best suits them at a particular stage in their career. Clearly the decision to shift clubs is never taken lightly but we have seen how well it has worked for some players in recent seasons. We are confident the shift will work well for Tevita and provide him with opportunities he is looking for to further his rugby career.”

For further information contact Greg O’Brien  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   021384784

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Southern Kings

Mark Reddish will play his 50th Super Rugby game on Saturday night. The former Hurricanes player will start at lock against the Kings and will be playing his 19th match for the Pulse Energy Highlanders. Playing their first match for the Highlanders will be the two halfbacks Te Aihe Toma and Jamie Booth. Toma will start the game and Booth is expected to make his debut from the bench.

Mobile loose forward Gareth Evans will start at blindside flanker and he will be accompanied in the loose by Captain Shane Christie and Luke Whitelock. Liam Squire who debuted successfully for the All Blacks in Dunedin last week is on the bench, as Coach Joseph stays with the forward group that played well against the Crusaders in a warm up game during the June break.

Ryan Tongia gets his second start of the 2016 season at left wing while Jack Wilson and Matt Faddes complete the back three.  Patrick Osborne who has just returned from his international duties with Fiji will make his impact from the reserves. The halves combination of Te Aihe Toma and Marty Banks will have the responsibility of driving the team around the field in just their second game together, however Lima Sopoaga will provide excellent backup from the bench.

Southern Kings v Pulse Energy Highlanders, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, Sat 2rd July 7.10pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Mark Reddish

5.   Tom Franklin

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

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Siosuia Halanukonuka

19. Liam Squire

20. Dan Pryor

21. Jamie Booth

22. Lima Sopoaga

23. Patrick Osborne

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

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

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Jaguares

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

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Chiefs

A fresh prop, lock and a midfield reshuffle are the significant changes to the Pulse Energy Highlanders to play the Chiefs in a potential NZ conference decider on Saturday night. Daniel Lienert-Brown and Alex Ainley both return to the starting team after recovering from injury , Josh Hohneck moves to the bench and is joined by Liam Coltman who has recovered from a length break to provide cover on the bench.

Malakai Fekitoa returns to second five-eight and reunites with Matt Faddes at centre to reform what was a very effective midfield combination prior to the June break. Jamie Joseph has also gone for a 6 forward 2 back split on the bench highlighting perhaps that the anticipated fast pace of the game will require regular fresh legs to be injected into the match.

The crucial last round match has attracted a sell-out crowd of 22,500.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Chiefs - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Sat 16th July 7.35pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Siosuia Halanukonuka

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Alex Ainley

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. Liam Coltman

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Josh Hohneck

19. Mark Reddish

20. Liam Squire

21. Dan Pryor

22. Te Aihe Toma

23. Fletcher Smith

 

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

Unavailable due to injury: Shane Christie, Marty Banks

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play Brumbies in quarterfinal

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

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play Lions in the 2016 Semi-Finals

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

Highlanders looking forward to challenge of Brisbane Global Tens

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

Tickets

Highlanders & You! This is your team... secure your 2017 Match Tickets Now!  

Buy Reds Tickets

 

Match Ticket Prices

For The Fans

Stay Up To Date With What’s Happening For Our Fans

NB the displayed prices exclude booking and transaction fees which vary depending on your method of purchase.  Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Warning! Buy all your tickets to our matches through www.Ticketdirect.co.nz/highlanders Do not purchase your match tickets through the ViaGoGo website. They are not our Official Ticketing Partner, and inflate their prices by exorbitant amounts. We are unable to assist you in any fashion if you do transact with them.

 

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS

For information and tickets on the upcoming Irish & British Lions tour please visit http://www.nzlionsseries17.com/tickets

 
 

Map

Draw CTA

 
 
 

Get $150 Off Your Membership!

image001 2

Save on your membership by Switching to Pulse Energy

Become a Highlanders Member, switch your electricity to Pulse Energy and you’ll get a $150.00 rebate on your membership*.

Simply transact the memberships you require, and once they are processed, you will have the option to switch your electricity and access your $150.00 rebate.'

*One $150.00 rebate per household address / power account connected to a membership.

T’s and C’s apply.

Win a trip to Brisbane Global Rugby Tens!

website win


See the stars of the Highlanders, all Australian and New Zealand clubs, along with Toulon, the Blue Bulls, Samoa and the Panasonic Wild Knights, compete in 28 action packed games over two days in a ten-players-per-side, ten-minutes per-half, knockout tournament at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane February 11th and 12th 2017.

T’s and C’s apply.

All Blacks vs Australia

allblacks

Secure your Ticket to the Mighty All Blacks

Secure your Highlanders Membership before 1 February 2017 and be given a guaranteed opportunity to purchase a ticket to All Blacks v Australia Bledisloe Cup clash on 26 August 2017 at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Platinum

  • Adult $40.00
  • Child $40.00

buy ticket now button

Gold

  • Adult $30.00
  • Child $13.50

Oceana Gold Take A Kid to the Highlanders

  • Base Pack $24.00
  • Extra Adult $22.50
  • Extra Child $5.50

Joseph recognised for coaching 100 Super Rugby games

IMG 8559

 

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

Members Benefits

  • Dedicated Members entry gate at home games

  • Digital Season Preview 

    • Team profile

    • Draw

    • Calendar for exclusive events, competitions and activities for members

    • Right to Buy an exclusive Members Commemorative item for the year

  • Pre-public release of:

    • Team releases

    • News articles we publish e.g. Player Signings, media releases

  • Exclusive content in season via Email

    • Photos

    • Player interviews

    • Coaches interviews

  • Preferential purchasing options to:

    • Feature matches e.g. All Blacks Test Matches

    • Car parks at our home matches when available

    • Purchase offers to our Sponsor’s products

  • Merchandise benefits

    • Pre-sale order opportunities

    • Incentive to buy our merchandise online in season

  • Notifications/invitation of Landers Army events in various locations

  • Members Only Events in Season

  • Exclusive Competitions

    • Win one of two signed Highlanders Jerseys per season

    • Monthly draw to attend a Captain’s Run

    • Visit from the some of the team

 

*all competitions are subject to terms and conditions

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play Chiefs in Season Opener

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will square off against the Chiefs and Crusaders in their first two home games of the competition in 2017. These have been classic encounters in recent seasons and will provide a stern test for new Head Coach Tony Brown’s team early on.

Other home games in 2017 will feature the Blues and Stormers, as well as the Japanese expansion team the Sunwolves for the very first time against the Highlanders. There will be clashes against Australian teams the Rebels, Waratahs and Reds.

In total the Highlanders have eight home games scheduled of which seven will be played in Dunedin and one in Invercargill.

2017 Home Draw

Link to 2017 Investec Super Rugby Draw

END 

Tickets for Highlanders against The British & Irish Lions on sale tomorrow

Fans are being encouraged to get in quick to secure their tickets for the Highlanders match against The British & Irish Lions when tickets go on general sale tomorrow (28 October) at 12pm.

Tickets for the eagerly anticipated DHL NZ Lions Series 2017 match will be available from www.nzlionsseries17.com with adult seats available from $39.

John Christie, Director at Enterprise Dunedin, said hosting The British & Irish Lions would be one of the sporting highlights for the city in 2017.

“We can all recall the last time the Lions played in Dunedin in 2005, thousands of local and visiting fans made for a tremendous occasion.  Again, we’re anticipating the city will be awash with fans and we are delighted to host the British & Irish Lions vs Highlanders match which will showcase Dunedin as the best venue for sporting events in the country.”

Highlanders Chief Executive, Roger Clark said the first ever meeting of the British & Irish Lions and the Highlanders was shaping up to be a great contest.

“This game will represent the first time the Pulse Energy Highlanders have ever played an international team, for the players the opportunity to play against the Lions comes along only once in their career. This event is truly significant in the history of our club. I have no doubt this unique and historic day will be marked by a huge crowd and a magnificent atmosphere.”  

The public sale follows a priority period from early October with thousands of community members (including players, club members, volunteers), season ticket holders, stadium members and Team All Blacks members snapping up the available allocation of tickets.

The matches on sale exclude the All Blacks Test matches, which are only available by entering an online ballot which closes on 1 November or securing official hospitality or travel packages. 

END

Pulse Energy Highlanders Look To Future With Apprentice Programme

The Pulse Energy Highlanders are looking to the future announcing the following four promising young players who will make up their rugby club’s apprentice programme for 2017; Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Flynn Thomas, Mosese Dawai, Vilimoni Koroi were all members of the New Zealand Secondary School team in either 2015 or 2016 (Thomas -  2015/16, Dawai – 2016, Koroi - 2016 and Umaga-Jensen – 2015) and have shown the talent and skill necessary to  develop into great players in the future.

The apprentice programme has been designed to fast-track young players preparation for Super Rugby by giving them access to expert coaching, strength and conditioning and nutrition advice. This programme commenced in 2014 and included current Highlander Patelesio Tomkinson and Otago Mitre 10 lock Josh Dickson.

Pulse Energy Highlanders High Performance Coach, Jon Preston, commented, “Flynn is an extremely hard-working and smart front-rower with an excellent skill set, Thomas is a big powerful mid-fielder who was outstanding for Scotts College and NZ Schools alongside his brother Peter and Vilimoni and Mosese were both star wingers for Fielding High School. Vilimoni has explosive pace and great finishing while Mosese’s standout performances elevated him to the starting team in NZ Secondary Schools. We’re looking forward to see how they develop in our environment."     

Apprentice Programme

 

Top (L-R): Thomas Umaga-Jensen,  Mosese Dawai

Bottom (L-R): Flynn Thomas, Vilimoni Koroi

END

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders Team Naming for 2017 Investec Super Rugby Season

The Pulse Energy Highlanders squad to contest the 2017 Investec Super Rugby Competition has been announced. The team includes five players new to the squad as well as fulltime professional contracts for Fletcher Smith and Aki Seiuli who joined the Highlanders in 2016 as injury replacements.

The team features 33 players returning from 2016 which will provide experience and continuity for new head coach Tony Brown. “It’s always an exciting day when you name a squad and particularly for me given it’s my first year as Head Coach. I think the balance of the squad is good we have a number of experienced players returning but also some exciting young players who haven’t had a lot of Super Rugby game time that will get an opportunity to have a crack”.

New signings Tevita Li (Blues) , Kayne Hammington and Siate Tokolahi  (Chiefs) and prop Guy Millar (Western Force) will join young Otago lock Josh Dickson in their debut season for the Highlanders in 2017.

The team welcomes back Richard Buckman, Hayden Parker and Josh Renton from long-term injuries sustained in 2016 however prop Brendon Edmonds was ruled out of selection as he is yet to recover fully from his knee injury.

The 2017 Pulse Energy Highlanders

Forwards

Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Guy Millar*, Siate Tokolahi*, Aki Seiuli, Craig Millar, Tom Franklin, Joe Wheeler, Alex Ainley, Josh Dickson*, Jackson Hemopo, Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Dan Pryor, Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon

Backs

Aaron Smith, Kayne Hammington*, Josh Renton, Lima Sopoaga, Hayden Parker, Fletcher Smith, Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Teihorangi Walden, Richard Buckman, Matt Faddes, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Patrick Osborne, Tevita Li*, Jason Emery , Ben Smith

*Debut season for Highlanders in 2017

2017 Pulse Energy Highlanders Team Guide

ENDS

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders To Take On Sunwolves In Invercargill

The Pulse Energy Highlanders have confirmed venues for their 2017 Investec Super Rugby Season home games. The Japanese expansion team, the Sunwolves, will play the Pulse Energy Highlanders for the first time ever deep in Highlander country at Rugby Park Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm, Saturday 22nd April). Invercargill City Council Mayor, Tim Shadbolt, commented, “we are delighted to have the Sunwolves come and play in our city, Invercargill has a strong Japanese connection with the longstanding relationship with sister city Kumagaya (Japan) and we know we will get a fantastic crowd along to both support the Highlanders and welcome the Sunwolves – it’s going to be a great game”.

Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO, Roger Clark, added “it is important for us as a club to recognise the great support we get from Southland, especially Invercargill, and with help from the Invercargill City Council, we are able to consistently bring great Super Rugby games to them. We can’t wait to play the Sunwolves at Rugby Park Stadium next year and the early kick-off time should make it easier for those travelling from a little further.”

Invercargill won’t be a new venue for some of the Sunwolves with two members of their management team having grown up in Invercargill; local boys Simon Jones, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach (previously worked with the Stags and Southern Steel) and Ben Herring, a member of the Sunwolves coaching team (played for both the Southland Stags and Highlanders during his rugby career), will be looking forward to visiting New Zealand with the Sunwolves. Pulse Energy Highlanders ex-Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, is also expected to travel with the team when they return to New Zealand in 2017.

The remaining six home games against the Chiefs, Crusaders, Rebels, Blues, Stormers, Waratahs and Reds will be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium kicking off at 7.35pm.

2017 Pulse Energy Highlanders Home Draw below:

2017 Home Draw

 

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders extend relationship with Swanndri

The Pulse Energy Highlanders are delighted to welcome Swanndri as major partner.

Adidas Unveils Special Edition Super Rugby Jerseys For NZ Lions Tour

Auckland, New Zealand, 1st March 2017 – adidas Rugby has today begun the offensive against the British and Irish Lions by unveiling a range of special edition Super Rugby jerseys. The range is set to be worn by each team during the Investec Super Rugby season, and again in their highly-anticipated matches against the British & Irish Lions in June.

Jason Emery ruled out for season

The Pulse Energy Highlanders have lost their second player for the season with Jason Emery rupturing his achilles playing for the Highlanders Braveheart’s against the Crusader Knights in the curtain raiser to Saturday night’s match.

In The Community

Our community is the very fabric of who #YourLanders are! We love meeting you, helping you, and contributing to what makes our region so great! Here you can check out some of the things we’ve been up to recently.  

IMG 19391IMG 9499
 #LandersExpress - we surprised local school kids with a ride home on the #LandersExpressSummer Treats - How else do you celebrate summer? Mr Whippy Ice Creams of course!
IMG 9795Highlanders SPCA 4541 1
 Pacific Island School Holiday Programme - Coaching some footy skills with our local Pacific community SPCA Muck-In - We helped pull the Otago SPCA get ready for the demolition of their old buildings

 

 

Charity Association and Requests

We are proud to associate with our official charity - the Otago Rescue Helicopter.

If you have a request for a signed item, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following information of your event or fundraiser:

  • Name and the community it benefits
  • Date of event/fundraiser
  • Contact information including email and cell number

Each month during the season, we draw out one entrant who will be contacted and asked to provide an item for the team to sign, along with a return postage paid postage bag.

The Zoo

There’s nothing like The Zoo! The atmosphere, the buzz, the entertainment….it’s all happening right here!

Get your mates together and get geared up for 1.5 hours of non-stop party!

General admission seating in the Mitre 10 Mega Stand.

R18 entry.

MoreFM’s Mini Landers

Tune in to Brad on MoreFM’s day time show for your chance to be running our team onto the pitch at Forsyth Barr Stadium!

Ultimate Fan Pack

Switch to Pulse Energy and score the Ultimate Fan Pack valued at $300!

Ultimate Fan Pack includes:

  • 2x 2017 Highlanders home game tickets (Super Rugby), Highlanders/Pulse branded sports tee,  rugby ball, drink bottle, beanie, treats from other Highlanders sponsors Tux, Placemakers and KFC 

For The Fans

Stay Up To Date With What’s Happening For Our Fans

Pulse Energy Highlanders names to play Rebels in Dunedin

Friday night’s match against the Rebels will mark halfback Aaron Smith’s 100th Super Rugby game and 100th game for the Highlanders. Smith, Highlander #175, debuted in 2011 against the Bulls in Pretoria and has been a regular selection ever since. Renowned as one of the best passing halfbacks in the game he debuted for the All Blacks in 2012 and has been capped 62 times. His efforts for both the All Blacks and Highlanders in 2014 saw him recognised with the Tom French Memorial Trophy for Maori Player of the Year. He becomes the fourth player behind Anton Oliver (127), Jimmy Cowan (108), Chris King (106) and Ben Smith (123) to play 100 games for the Pulse Energy Highlanders.

Head Coach, Tony Brown, was full of praise for his halfback, “Aaron has been the best 9 in the world for some time now and is such an important part of our game. It’s fantastic that he gets to clock up a 100 games for the club, he joins a small group of amazing rugby players and he deserves his place in that company, he’s earned his selection in every one of those 100 games through hard work and consistency of performance.”

Smith will be presented with a pounamu mere – the New Zealand Rugby gift for centurions – on Friday night following the conclusion of the game.

Smith will partner with Marty Banks in the halves as Fletcher Smith moves to the bench and Tevita Li returns to the wing to replace a well performed Sio Tomkinson. The forwards have Aki Seiuli, Joe Wheeler and Gareth Evans moving from last week’s bench to the starting team and in the reserves, Elliot Dixon and Daniel Lienert-Brown, get a break from the starting lineup this week. Tupou Sopoaga will make his debut appearance if required. 

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Rebels - 7.35pm, Friday 31st March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

  1. Aki Seiuli
  2. Liam Coltman
  3. Siate Tokolahi
  4. Joe Wheeler
  5. Tom Franklin
  6. Gareth Evans
  7. Dillon Hunt
  8. Luke Whitelock
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Marty Banks
  11. Patrick Osborne
  12. Richard Buckman
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Tevita Li
  15. Ben Smith (c)

RESERVES

  1. Greg Pleasants-Tate
  2. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  3. Siosuia Halanukonuka
  4. Elliot Dixon
  5. Tupou Sopoaga
  6. Kayne Hammington
  7. Fletcher Smith
  8. Matt Faddes

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Ash Dixon, Dan Pryor, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo,  Adrian Smith, James Lentjes (out for the season: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker).

END 

 

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders Team Named To Play The Brumbies

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach has made just three changes to his starting line-up for their match against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night. He welcomes back Patrick Osborne from injury, gives young Otago back Sio Tomkinson his first start in a Highlanders jersey and the hard working Alex Ainley returns to the engine room.

On the bench Greg Pleasants-Tate joins Siosuia Halanukonuka returning from injury. “It’s good to get Pat,Greg and Siua back  as it’s going to be a real test for the team this week. The Brumbies in Canberra is one of the toughest challenges in rugby and history tells us we don’t perform that well there so we will need to be on our game” said Brown.

While Tomkinson will be playing his first match Aaron Smith will be playing his 99th and look set to bring up his 100th next week against the Rebels.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Brumbies - 7.45pm (9.45pm NZT), Saturday 25th March, GIO Stadium, Canberra

    1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
    2. Liam Coltman
    3. Siate Tokolahi
    4. Alex Ainley
    5. Tom Franklin
    6. Elliot Dixon
    7. Dillon Hunt
    8. Luke Whitelock
    9. Aaron Smith
    10. Fletcher Smith
    11. Patrick Osborne
    12. Richard Buckman
    13. Malakai Fekitoa
    14. Patelesio Tomkinson
    15. Ben Smith ( c )

RESERVES

    1. Greg Pleasants-Tate
    2. Aki Seiuli
    3. Siosuia Halanukonuka
    4. Joe Wheeler
    5. Gareth Evans
    6. Kayne Hammington
    7. Marty Banks
    8. Matt Faddes

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Ash Dixon, Dan Pryor, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo,  Adrian Smith, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes,

(Out for the season: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker)

END 

Pulse Energy Highlanders to play Hurricanes in Wellington

The name Smith features three times on the team sheet for the Pulse Energy Highlanders this week. Aaron will start his 98th game for the Highlanders while Head Coach will certainly welcome back captain Ben Smith for his 122nd  game, in contrast Fletcher Smith will play just his 3rd game for the club at first five.

“Fletcher has trained well and showed some good form preseason he’s a young player with a lot of potential and we back him to the job for the team on Saturday”said Brown.

Young Otago openside Dillon Hunt who debuted off the bench last week will get his chance to start as Elliot Dixon shifts to blindside and Gareth Evans moves to the bench. Joe Wheeler will start in place of the injured Alex Ainley and the versatile Richard Buckman moves to the right wing to replace the injured Waisake Naholo. Matt Faddes comes into the reserves as the Highlanders go with a conventional 5 forwards 3 backs combination this week.

This round of the Investec Super rugby celebrates that rugby is a game for everyone. The players will wear coloured laces representing that rugby is a game for all New Zealanders no matter who they are, what they look like, their beliefs or abilities. Head Coach Tony Brown said “We fully support the initiative; we absolutely need to play our part in showing that we embrace diversity. I believe rugby is a game for everyone regardless of shape, size, nationality, gender or whatever”.

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Hurricanes - 7.35pm, Saturday 18th March, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

  1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  2. Liam Coltman
  3. Siate Tokolahi
  4. Joe Wheeler
  5. Tom Franklin
  6. Elliot Dixon
  7. Dillon Hunt
  8. Luke Whitelock
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Fletcher Smith
  11. Tevita Li
  12. Rob Thompson
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Richard Buckman
  15. Ben Smith ( c )
  16. Sekonia Pole
  17. Aki Seiuli
  18. Guy Millar
  19. Jackson Hemopo
  20. Gareth Evans
  21. Kayne Hammington
  22. Marty Banks
  23. Matt Faddes

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Ash Dixon, Dan Pryor, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo, Alex Ainley, Adrian Smith, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Patrick Osborne

(Out for the season: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker)

END 

Pulse Energy Highlanders Team to play Blues at Eden Park

Luke Whitelock and Marty Banks return from injury to take on the Blues in Auckland this weekend. However Liam Squire and James Lentjes are both out injured giving Gareth Evans, who entered the game a few minutes into last week’s clash, a start at Number 6. Elliot Dixon will again captain the side this time from openside flanker and Whitelock will complete the new look back row at 8.

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach, Tony Brown, has named a forward-heavy bench with six in the reserves including Aki Seiuli at prop and locks, Jackson Hemopo and Joe Wheeler. Dillon Hunt will cover the loose forwards and make his Super Rugby debut should he take the field. Kayne Hammington and Marty Banks will provide the back cover from the bench.

The match will mark 50 games for the Highlanders for Highlander #197 Joe Wheeler. Wheeler made his debut in 2013.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Blues - 7.35pm Saturday 11th March, Eden Park, Auckland

  1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  2. Liam Coltman
  3. Siosuia Halanukonuka
  4. Alex Ainley
  5. Tom Franklin
  6. Gareth Evans
  7. Elliot Dixon ( C )
  8. Luke Whitelock
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Lima Sopoaga
  11. Tevita Li
  12. Rob Thompson
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Waisake Naholo
  15. Richard Buckman

Reserves

  1. Sekonia Pole
  2. Aki Seiuli
  3. Siate Tokolahi
  4. Joe Wheeler
  5. Jackson Hemopo
  6. Dillon Hunt
  7. Kayne Hammington
  8. Marty Banks

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Ash Dixon , Dan Pryor, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Ben Smith, Adrian Smith, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes

Out for season: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker

END 

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders team to play the Crusaders

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will have a new captain and welcome back two experienced players for the big Southern derby game against the Crusaders on SaturdayBen Smith is sidelined this week which means his All Black team mate Elliot Dixon will captain the side. Dixon, Highlander #194, has played 64 games for the Highlanders since debuting in 2012.“Elliot is an experienced campaigner who always gives 100% effort and will lead the team by example, I know he’s pretty excited about the opportunity to skipper the side” said Head Coach Tony Brown.

In other changes, Richard Buckman will replace Ben Smith at fullback having returned from the Japan League a few weeks ago with Joe Wheeler. Wheeler will make his first appearance in 2017 from the bench. Siosuia Halanukonuka will start at tighthead with Siate Tokolahi moving to the bench and Patrick Osborne takes Matt Faddes’ place in the 23.

As a curtain raiser to the main event at the stadium the Highlander Bravehearts Development XV will play their Southern counterparts the Crusader Knights at 5pm (gates open at 4.45pm)

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Crusaders, Sat 4th Mar 7.35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

  1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  2. Liam Coltman
  3. Siosuia Halanukonuka
  4. Alex Ainley
  5. Tom Franklin
  6. Elliot Dixon ( c )
  7. James Lentjes
  8. Liam Squire
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Lima Sopoaga
  11. Tevita Li
  12. Rob Thompson
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Waisake Naholo
  15. Richard Buckman

Reserves

  1. Adrian Smith
  2. Craig Millar
  3. Siate Tokolahi
  4. Joe Wheeler
  5. Gareth Evans
  6. Kayne Hammington
  7. Fletcher Smith
  8. Patrick Osborne

Unavailable due to injury: Marty Banks, Luke Whitelock, Shane Christie, Ash Dixon , Dan Pryor, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Ben Smith

END

 

 

 

NZ Rugby Foundation Patron Release

 Media release:  Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 12 noon

  • All Black Great Richie McCaw joins rugby icon Sir Colin Meads as a Patron for the New Zealand Rugby Foundation
  • Former All Black Captain Andy Leslie to succeed Tane Norton as President

Pulse Energy Highlanders welcome All Black's back for Blues clash in Dunedin

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Tony Brown has refreshed his forward pack and welcomes back All Black loose forward Liam Squire and Captain Ben Smith for the crucial 7th round clash with the Blues. Preparing for what will no doubt be a physical encounter Brown has restored Daniel Lienert-Brown, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Alex Ainley and Elliot Dixon to the starting eight. Liam Squire makes his return after four weeks on the sideline and will make an impact from the bench.

Pulse Energy Highlanders names to play Sunwolves in Invercargill

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Tony Brown has named a strong side to take on the Sunwolves in Invercargill on Saturday night. Joe Wheeler and Liam Squire earn starts while the versatile Elliot Dixon moves to open side to give the loose trio a very strong look. In the backs Malakai Fekitoa moves to the midfield to make room for the speedy Matt Faddes at centre and Tevita Li comes in on the left wing. After a five week break due to injury All Black winger Waisake Naholo returns on the right wing. The young Otago trio, Josh Renton, Teihorangi Walden and Sio Tomkinson round out the back reserves.

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play Stormers

Siosuia Halanukonuka, Tom Franklin and Gareth Evans return to the starting line-up and Dillon Hunt retains his starting spot after being called in at the last moment last Saturday to cover an injured Elliot Dixon.

Mauger signing for Pulse Energy Highlanders

Former All Black Aaron Mauger has signed to the Pulse Energy Highlanders as assistant coach for 2018/19 seasons. Mauger who has impressed during coaching tenures as the assistant coach of the Crusaders in 2013 and 2014 and more recently as the Head Coach of the Leicester Tigers a team he played 53 games for between 2007 and 2010. His coaching term with the Tigers began in 2015 and concluded this season with the team capturing the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Mauger will be moving to Dunedin in late July with his wife Amy and four children and is looking forward to the opportunity "I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the Highlanders next season. The club have worked extremely hard over the last 4-5 years in particular to create an environment that allows the people and the team to perform at their best and to the highest levels. I feel very privileged to be joining the club and to be in a position on the coaching staff where I can help add to the fantastic structure put in place and help grow the team and club to achieve future success.”

Following on from his overseas experience finding the right club in NZ was important “I like what the Highlanders stand for, I know we are going to a family orientated club and that was a critical factor for us when making our decision. As a family we had lots of discussions with some key people to assure ourselves us that the Highlanders and the city of Dunedin would be the perfect place for Amy and I to bring our family and for me to continue growing as a person and as a coach" said Mauger.

Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO Roger Clark was delighted with the appointment “with the departure of Tony Brown at the end of the season we were on the lookout for another quality attack coach for the next few years. I know the whole club are absolutely thrilled that Aaron has chosen the Highlanders as the next step in his coaching career. Coaches of his ability are keenly sought after globally and to retain his services is excellent news. We perceive a really good fit for him here at the Pulse Energy Highlanders and it will renew the emphasis our club has put on playing innovative and exciting rugby”.

END

Team named for first encounter in South Africa

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Tony Brown has named strong side to take on the Cheetahs on Friday night in Bloemfontein. “The Cheetahs are an adventurous side who play an attacking brand of rugby and we’re anticipating a good battle “said Brown. He has retained most of the pack that tamed the Stormers last weekend changing only Joe Wheeler from the bench to the starting XV and returning Luke Whitelock to the number eight position, who will captain the run on side.

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play Bulls in Pretoria

A training injury to Luke Whitelock has forced another reshuffle to the Pulse Energy Highlanders loose forward trio, having lost Liam Squire last week head coach Tony Brown has named versatile loose forward Gareth Evans at number eight.

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play Western Force in Perth

Pulse Energy Highlanders lock Tom Franklin will play his 50th game when he takes the field to play the Western Force on Saturday night.

Win with the Tux Blimp at Our Home Games!

At half time of every home game, the Tux Blimp treats our littlest landers fans to an on-pitch extravaganza!

Win cash, coffee vouchers, tux vouchers and more!

To participate, line up at the pitch side gates of Gate E ten minutes before half time.  

You must be 1m in height or less – our event team will check you’re good to go when you line up.

*enter at your own risk

 

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play Waratahs in Dunedin

Ben Smith co-captain of the Pulse Energy Highlanders returns after a three week break for injury to play his record equalling 127th game for the Highlanders.

Christie ruled out of remainder of Super Rugby season

The Pulse Energy Highlanders have announced today that Shane Christie has been ruled out of selection for the remainder of 2017 Investec Super Rugby season.

Christie’s specific condition is not currently diagnosed, but he has been experiencing concussion like symptoms.

His condition has been extensively managed by Highlanders medical staff, with support from New Zealand Rugby and includes independent assessment of his situation. In the interests of Christie’s health it has been decided to rule him out of selection so he can focus on his recovery.

Head Coach Tony Brown added “it’s unfortunate for the team and Shane that we won’t see him in our colours this year but we fully support the medical decision not to play to assist his recovery.”

Christie will remain with the team as part of the leadership group for the rest of the season.

Shane Christie will not be providing any media comment.

END 

Pulse Energy Highlanders named to play British and Irish Lions

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will field a strong side against the British & Irish Lions despite seven players being unavailable on national duties for the All Blacks and NZ Maori.

Scott McLeod to join All Blacks Coaching Team

MEDIA RELEASE -  SATURDAY 17TH JUNE

McLeod takes on All Black Role

Pulse Energy Highlanders Assistant Coach Scott McLeod will join the All Blacks as Defence Coach at the conclusion of the current Super Rugby season. McLeod has fashioned a reputation as an, innovative and committed defence coach, since his arrival at the club in 2013. In fact the Highlanders have enjoyed one of the better defence records in Super Rugby in recent times.

Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO Roger Clark was pleased for McLeod “the club is delighted for Scott, in reality, just like players coaches have aspirations for higher honours and it’s great for them as individuals and for the club when they achieve them. Jamie, Tony and Scott are now all coaching at international level and that really does reflect the quality of coaching the club has enjoyed in recent times.”

McLeod’s’ time with the Highlanders has coincided with considerable success for the Highlanders club, champions in 2015, semi-finalists in 2016 and already qualified for the playoffs this year.

 “Along with Jamie and Brownie and the rest of the coaching group, Scott has been a big part of our recent success. The heart of our rugby strategy is to recruit people who we believe are Highlander men, people that can add real and lasting value to our club. Scott certainly falls into that category as do our more recent coaching additions Mark Hammett and Aaron Mauger” said Clark.

The Highlanders will seek a replacement for McLeod after the conclusion of the Investec Super Rugby competition “clearly with Scott moving on and of course Tony joining Japan we need to add another coach to our mix from next year. We were very happy to secure the services of Aaron Mauger recently and with Mark Hammett joining us last year we already have two experienced coaches so just how we complement them will be determined through the recruitment process.”

McLeod will transition into the All Black Defence role over the period of the Rugby Championship before Wayne Smith departs at the end of the year.

ENDS

NB the displayed prices exclude booking and transaction fees which vary depending on your method of purchase.  Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Warning! Buy all your tickets to our matches through www.Ticketdirect.co.nz/highlanders Do not purchase your match tickets through the ViaGoGo website. They are not our Official Ticketing Partner, and inflate their prices by exorbitant amounts. We are unable to assist you in any fashion if you do transact with them.

 

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS

For information and tickets on the upcoming Irish & British Lions tour please visit http://www.nzlionsseries17.com/tickets

 
 

Map

Draw CTA

 
 
 

The Highlanders Experience

VIEW OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

SupeRugbylogo header speights minlogo SwanndriUniversity of Otagoplacemakers new logo banner 104Challenge cropped minAdidas Logo Small min