Holland to the Highlanders – is not only a headline, but also the description of the journey young Otago lock Fabian Holland has taken to get to the Highlanders. Since the age 5 Holland has enjoyed rugby, so much so, that in 2019 he left his family and friends in the Netherlands as a 16-year-old and travelled to the other side of the world. Holland landed in Christchurch and had initially planned the trip as six-month rugby immersion experience to learn as much as he could about the game, he was so passionate about.
Fast forward 3 years and it would seem he has learned plenty. During that time, he has played for the prestigious Christchurch Boys High School 1st XV, the NZ U20 team, Otago NPC team, and received two caps for the Highlanders in 2022 as an injury replacement. A meteoric rise by anyone’s standards but when you consider he has achieved it all away from his family support network and with English as a second language - it’s a truly remarkable story.
Initially the Highlanders had planned on Holland being involved in 2024 but his development has been so rapid his talent could not be ignored.