Highlanders to announce venues shortly

Roger Clark.
Roger Clark.
The Highlanders hope to confirm the venues of their home games for next season in the next few days.

But a busy calendar at Forsyth Barr Stadium is complicating matters and a game played in Invercargill has to be fitted into the equation.

The draw for next year's Super Rugby competition came out last week, although all the venues for the games to be played in New Zealand were not confirmed.

The draw was released so franchises could get it out publicly.

The competition is returning to 15 teams, as it was from 2011-15. The Highlanders will have eight home games, with one of those in Invercargill.

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said the franchise had not yet confirmed all the other home games would be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The stadium was hosting some big concerts next year and that was great for Dunedin and the stadium, Clark said.

But that made it tight to fit in seven home games at the stadium.

The Robbie Williams concert was set for Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 17 and the Highlanders were opening their season six days later with a home game against the Blues. It is possible to host a big concert and play a game at the covered stadium the next week.

The stadium is hosting three concerts by Ed Sheeran over Easter at the end of March next year but the Highlanders are playing a game away to the Chiefs that weekend.

That game is likely to be played in Hamilton.

Other franchises have taken home games overseas, with the Blues going to Samoa last season and the Chiefs heading to Fiji over the past couple of years.

The game in Invercargill is guaranteed after a five year deal worked out between the Highlanders and the Invercargill City Council a couple of years ago


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