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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.
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For further information contact: Amanda Gould 021 223 8440.

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).

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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).

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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).

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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). 

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