Rugby: Back to heartland for Highlanders

Andrew Hore
Andrew Hore
The Highlanders will go back to the heartland next week.

The entire squad will be based in the Maniototo for three days, and the players will be staying with farming families.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said the players would mingle with the community and the families.

''We are going back to Horey's [captain Andrew Hore] home town. We are doing some things with the local school there.

''They have had a bad run there ... so we want to lift spirits,'' Joseph said.

''The players will be going to training on the school bus. That is going to be an experience for them.

''You think about the families billeting the likes of Brad Thorn and Ma'afu Fia and the sort of different cultures they come from. When was the last time you got billeted as a rugby team?

''I quite like to do something a bit different. We're from a small community, a farming community, so everyone who comes down south needs to have a bit of experience of that.''

The Highlanders have a bye next week after starting the competition with a match against the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night.

Hore, the captain of the Highlanders, is sitting out tomorrow night's game, because of a suspension, but has had plenty on his plate this week, having just become a father.

Tyrell James Hore was born earlier this week, and baby and mother - Hore's fiancee, Frankie Lister - are both doing well.

Tyrell weighed in at just over 4kg, about 9lb in the old measurements.