Specific tens training to begin in Brisbane tomorrow

Aaron Mauger. Photo: Getty
Aaron Mauger. Photo: Getty
The Highlanders will head to Brisbane today for the tens tournament and it is fair to say they are not overtraining for it.

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger said yesterday they had not yet done any specific training for the tournament and would switch to tens training tomorrow in Brisbane.

The whole squad is travelling to Queensland for the event and those not involved in the tournament will train in Brisbane while the action takes place at Suncorp Stadium on Friday and Saturday this week.

The Highlanders will face the Chiefs and Waratahs on Friday before meeting French side Pau on Saturday afternoon.

Finals take place on Saturday night with games consisting of two 10-minute halves.

The Pau team includes former Highlanders Colin Slade, Jamie Mackintosh and Carl Hayman.

Mauger said the team had still been preparing for the season proper on the training field in Dunedin and that was going well.

The side had come off a good first-up win in Queenstown last Friday night, beating the Waratahs 55-29, after scoring 48 unanswered points in the middle of the match.

Mauger said he had a few looks at the tape of the game and there was plenty to like about it.

''I think we controlled territory pretty well and we created some try-scoring opportunities. Our unstructured play was good when we were looking to counterattack and that led to points,'' he said.

''We asked the boys to go out and express themselves and give the ball some air. When there were opportunities to go through the middle then we went through the middle and we had a good drive early on which was great.''

No major injuries had resulted from the game. Centre Matt Faddes had picked up a head knock and left the field.

He was going through the return--to-play protocol and was making progress, so should be right for the final pre-season match against the Crusaders in Waimumu on February 15.

Lock Alex Ainley had picked up a back injury two weeks ago which had forced him to miss the game in Queenstown.

But he trained yesterday and was listed in the squad to play the tens.

Loose forward Elliot Dixon had been given the green light to play and would line up in Brisbane. He had an operation on a biceps at the end of last season and had recovered ahead of expectation.

Meanwhile, Mauger is not getting too heated up about planned All Black camps during the season.

It has been reported the All Blacks will have short camps during the Super Rugby season to get players up to speed.

Some coaches had questioned the camps but Mauger said he was relaxed about it.

''We will just work around it the best we can. We will make sure we have a good plan around it.

''We have a whole squad and it will be a chance for some to take the step up and fill the void.''

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