McKay making good case to be Highlanders fullback

Josh McKay has been in red-hot try-scoring form in the Mitre 10 Cup. Photo: Getty Images
Josh McKay has been in red-hot try-scoring form in the Mitre 10 Cup. Photo: Getty Images
Canterbury fullback Josh McKay is making a real play to fill the shoes of the Highlanders co-captain.

McKay, who turned 22 yesterday, is the leading try-scorer in the Mitre 10 Cup. He scored his ninth for the season when Canterbury beat Otago to take the Ranfurly Shield last Saturday.

McKay has been playing at fullback for the red and blacks and has really impressed in the position, showing lightning pace and some enterprise on attack.

His good season was recognised when he won the Canterbury Rugby Supporters Club player of the year prize at the province's rugby awards earlier this week.

McKay first signed for the Highlanders in 2018 and has played seven matches over the past two seasons.

He has the versatility to play anywhere in the outside backs and played first five-eighth at school, but fullback appears to be his preferred position.

With Highlanders co-captain Ben Smith playing in France next season, and Matt Faddes already playing for Ulster, McKay has the opportunity to be the franchise's next fullback.

He is likely to face competition for the position from the likes of Michael Collins, Scott Gregory and Connor Garden-Bachop.

Faddes has made a mixed start to his career at Ulster.

He played in the opening game of the season for the side against Ospreys and managed to score a try as Ulster won 38-14.

The side then travelled to South Africa and recorded a heavy loss, losing 63-26 to the Cheetahs. It will take on the Southern Kings this weekend in the Pro 14 competition.

 - Steve Hepburn


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