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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. 

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