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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

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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

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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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