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Otago skills coach Kane Jury will also join the side for a spell before Christmas to replace the departed Cory Brown.
Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger said the side had picked six players from Otago and Southland it considers to be players for the franchise in a couple of years.
They will get to train with the team for the weeks before Christmas and may then stay on after Christmas depending on other players.
Mauger said the franchise was keen to invest in local talent.
The players include lock Manaaki Selby-Ricket and prop Ethan de Groot, both from Southland. Others are Otago outside back Josh Timu, loose forwards Dylan Nel and Slade McDowall and hooker Ricky Jackson.
Mauger said it was a chance to give the players a pathway into Super Rugby and a chance to experience the environment.
Jury, who also coached the Dunedin premier side last season, will have an initial three weeks with the Highlanders, taking over from Brown as the high performance and development coach.
Brown has gone to Japan to be an assistant coach with the Sunwolves.Mauger said Jury was an enthusiastic and passionate coach and they had good reports about him from Otago. He may continue in the new year.
What the high performance and development coaching role would look like in the future was still being nailed down, Mauger said.