Fifty and finished for Faddes

Highlanders and Otago utility back Matt Faddes. Photo: Getty Images
Highlanders and Otago utility back Matt Faddes. Photo: Getty Images
Matt Faddes will play his last game for Otago in July - bringing up 50 games for the union - and then head off to Ulster.

But the outside back is likely to be replaced in the Highlanders by another Otago man.

It was announced earlier this week Faddes has signed with the Ulster side in Northern Ireland and will join with the Pro 14 club for the start of the northern season.

The ambitious club has made it through to the semifinals of the Pro 14 competition, which are due to be contested this weekend.

Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley said Faddes (27) wanted to play in one last game for Otago to bring up 50 games for the province. The Super Rugby competition finishes in the first week of July.

So he would play in the Ranfurly Shield defence against Thames Valley in Wanaka on July 13, then head off to the northern hemisphere.

It was always tough when players left, but Faddes had given plenty of service to the union, and made his way into the Highlanders after an impressive effort for the Otago side in 2015.

The former South Otago High School product was one of the best for Otago last year, and played well at centre for Otago. He came good last year after an indifferent period for the Highlanders last season.

Faddes made his debut for Otago in 2011.

Kinley said Faddes had given plenty of loyalty to the union and his desire to stay and bring up his 50th game for Otago was something that had to be respected.

With players such as Josh Timu and Matt Whaanga coming through, the departure of Faddes just opens up the opportunity for other players.

Faddes would start at fullback for the Highlanders in Johannesburg on Sunday morning (NZ time).

It is believed Otago winger Jona Nareki has signed for the Highlanders for next season. Nareki has been a stand-out winger for Otago in the past couple of seasons. He has scored 15 tries for Otago in 19 games in two seasons, and looked a constant danger on the left wing.

Nareki has played sevens for New Zealand over the past couple of years, and is getting ready to play in the final two tournaments of the season in Paris and London.


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