Frizell to travel with Highlanders for Force game

Shannon Frizell. Photo: Getty Images
Shannon Frizell. Photo: Getty Images
Highlanders loose forward Shannon Frizell is to travel to Perth for the match against the Force and will be a welcome addition to the side.

Frizell (27) did not play last Friday night against the Reds after the Highlanders withdrew him from team selection.

This was after he was involved in an incident at a Dunedin central city bar in the early hours of May 9. Police said yesterday the matter was still under investigation.

Highlanders assistant coach Riki Flutey said yesterday Frizell was available for the game against the Force in Perth on Friday night.

Josh Ioane, who had missed the past couple of games due to an ankle sprain, was making progress and it was hoped he would be available for the match in Perth, he said.

Ioane has been used at fullback in the past couple of games where he has made an impact, mixing the playmaking roles with Mitch Hunt.

Frizell has been in career-best form, both on attack and defence although his replacement last Friday, Hugh Renton, had a fine game.

The Highlanders are due to leave to Perth this morning, facing a long day of travel.

The inclusion of Frizell will be a big boost for the side which started the short Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition with an excellent 40-19 win over the Reds last Friday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Flutey said the main theme was to recover well from the Reds game through the weekend as there was a long day of travel ahead.

The side had done that well and was right for the 18 to 20 hours of travel, with three flights to get to Perth.

He said the focus on preparation was key.

"The good thing about all the travel is we get time to spend time together and connect with each other," Flutey said.

"That can be around tactics and game plans and getting everyone on the same page."

Flutey said there was excitement in the team about travelling overseas on a short tour.

The Force were only just edged by the Chiefs in Perth, and could have won the match if a sideline conversion had gone over at the end.

Flutey said the Force was a dangerous side at home.

"Their point of difference is they will stick with you if you let them. The Chiefs were probably a bit loose in parts of their game. That is something we have learnt and will work on.

"We got to go and play our game. The set piece was good and the boys did a good job."

He said the Australian sides had quality players and quality athletes and played some pretty exciting rugby.

"We just got to keep focus on our game and how we play so we can play well for the full 80 minutes."

The Highlanders had no injuries from the game although the number of players not available for the competition is up to double figures.

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