Next season’s Highlanders side will not include Walden

Teihorangi Walden. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Teihorangi Walden. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Taranaki skipper Teihorangi Walden has confirmed he is no longer contracted to the Highlanders.

Walden will captain the Amber and Blacks in the Ranfurly Shield challenge against Otago in Inglewood on Sunday.

He could not be contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday but confirmed to Stuff yesterday he was without a Super Rugby deal for next season.

Walden had been with the Highlanders since 2016 but had a limited part to play in the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition this year, with Sio Tomkinson and first Rob Thompson and Michael Collins preferred in the midfield. He was in and out of the Highlanders training squad in 2015 but did not get on the field to play as the team marched to its only title win in Super Rugby.

He played for the Highlanders in their win over the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

The 27-year-old played for Otago from 2013-17 and racked up 46 caps for the blue and golds. He played 35 games for the Highlanders.

Walden comes from Taranaki and was head boy at Francis Douglas Memorial College.

He will lead a Taranaki side which has spent a couple of days celebrating the Ranfurly Shield win over Canterbury last Saturday before getting into its work.

Walden played for the Southern club while in Dunedin and managed to play his 50th game for the club this season. He may look to sign for another New Zealand Super Rugby team, though spaces may be limited as few players are heading off to overseas clubs.

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