Rugby: Dixon to replace Magpies team-mate at Highlanders

Ash Dixon. Photo by ODT.
Ash Dixon. Photo by ODT.
It appears the Highlanders have swapped one Hawkes Bay hooker for another.

Magpies hooker Ash Dixon, who played for the Hurricanes last season, is believed to have signed for the Highlanders.

He will replace Ged Robinson, who has moved to the Crusaders.

Both players are in the Hawkes Bay team this season with Dixon getting the majority of starts.

Robinson had just had a minor knee operation and was not part of the Magpies squad which thrashed Otago on Sunday.

Dixon (26) first came to prominence as a member of the New Zealand Colts team in 2008.

He joined the Blues in 2011 but never got on the field for the franchise.

For the past two seasons, he has played for the Hurricanes although he started out the 2013 season as a member of the wider training squad.

With All Black incumbent Dane Coles locked in with the Hurricanes and the clear No 1 hooker at the franchise, and another hooker Motu Matu'u also set to line up for the Hurricanes next year, Dixon has some significant roadblocks in front of him if he wants to stay at the capital and play Super rugby.

Highlanders general manager Roger Clark could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Dixon is a lively hooker, who gets around the field and runs the ball up well. There have been question marks over his size but he has always played well for the Hurricanes over the past two years.

His lineout throwing is usually of a high standard and he played well in Hawkes Bay's big win over Otago. Otago hooker Liam Coltman has signed on for another year with the Highlanders while the status of the other hooker, Brayden Mitchell, is unknown.

The Highlanders have also been linked with other front-rowers but have yet to confirm the signings.

Waikato and Chiefs prop John Hohneck and Tasman prop Ross Geldenhuys have been connected with the franchise.

The franchise has spots open in the front row with Chris King and Argentinian Matias Diaz not returning next year.

Meanwhile, former Highlanders lock Josh Bekhuis is set to play his 100th game for Southland tonight against Tasman in Invercargill.

Bekhuis (28) will become the 13th player to play 100 games for Southland. He played 82 games for the Highlanders but has moved to the Blues for next year.

 

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