Roger Clark, Highlanders general manager. Photo by Peter
The Highlanders will continue to wear green next season
but it is not the No1 strip for the franchise.
The Highlanders in the late stages of the 2011 season had
created a storm with their decision to change the colour of
the jersey from blue, gold and maroon to green for the
The franchise had said the change was because of a need to
start afresh and it has been worn in its final home game of
The decision to go with the green was met by disdain by many
in the South and the Highlanders stepped back its
introduction and decided to go out for consultation on what
jersey it would wear.
Highlanders general manager Roger Clark said the
consultation, in conjunction with the marketing department at
the University of Otago, had been finished and the blue and
gold, maroon jersey would be the preferred No1 strip.
But the green jersey would be the alternate strip used by the
team for next season.
The franchises had the option now to change their alternate
strip every season and it was a long process to change it.
The green jersey had also been a big seller, Clark said.
One of the reasons to go away from the old coloured strip was
it was not commercially attractive.
The green for next year's jersey is a slightly different
shade than that used last season when the side wore the
jersey in a few away games.
The Highlanders have also done something a bit different with
the markings of the jersey.
The franchise districts that make up their territory are
watermarked on to the front of the jersey: Waitaki, Central
Otago, Queenstown Lakes, Dunedin, Clutha, Southland, Gore and
Other franchises have also added different markings to their
The Highlanders squad will come together and start training
in Dunedin about December 10, although only about half of
them will be there.
Those on the Maori All Blacks tour and the All Blacks tour
will not join the squad until the new year.
Highlanders winger Kade Poki has been forced home early from
the Maori tour with a badly bruised back.
Clark did not know the seriousness of the injury but it is
believed to be relatively minor.
Poki has had his fair share of injuries over the past couple
of years and Highlanders management will be hoping he is fit
Clark said there had been a delay in the naming of the five
players for the wider training squad.
The players were to be named yesterday but it would most
likely to now be at the end of the month.
Clark said once Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph got back from
the Maori All Blacks tour the players in the wider squad
would be finalised.
Clark did confirm a halfback would be named who would be from
outside the provinces of Otago and Southland.
Otago's Fumiaki Tanaka had made the Highlanders, while
Southland halfback Tayler Adams is involved in the New
Zealand under-20 training camp. It had been hoped to name all
the wider squad players from within the district but there
was no experienced halfback in Otago and Southland.
The wider training squad is expected to include Otago loose
forward and captain Paul Grant and young fullback Tony Ensor.
New rules would mean players in the wider training squad
would be available for every game no matter who was injured,
and would train with the squad fulltime.