The Highlanders are aiming to sell out the first game of the season and are about to open a zoo.
The injuries are continuing to stack up for the Highlanders with a gaping hole appearing in their midfield.
The Highlanders had to deal with a Ryan Crotty hat-trick within the first 20 minutes and a rock-solid defence from the rest of his Crusader team-mates as the men in blue and gold conceded seven tries in a 47-19 thumping at Rugby Park, Greymouth.
The Highlanders team to play the Crusaders in a pre-season game in Greymouth on Friday has been named.
A result this weekend will decide when the two members of the Highlanders plying their trade in Japan will become available for the franchise.
The Crusaders have named a powerful backline for their first pre-season match of the season, against the Highlanders in Greymouth on Friday.
Former Highlanders and Hurricanes player Willie Ripia, now a key playmaker for the Western Force, has resigned from the Perth-based club after allegedly stealing money from his teammates.
World champion All Black hooker Andrew Hore has always been a good southern man at heart - trouble is he has been plying his trade elsewhere.
The Highlanders packed up their gear and got in holiday mode yesterday as the side finished for the year.
Taranaki has no plans to try to take the Highlanders out of the South as talks continue behind closed doors over the franchise and the role of the new Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The Highlanders have until near the end of next month to decide on the eighth and final member of their wider training group, although they have signed a Fijian halfback into the group.
Little progress has been made on a commercial model for the Highlanders and franchise general manager Roger Clark says it is not a top priority at the moment.
Scouring Blackhead Beach for rubbish are Highlanders team members (from left) John Hardie, Ben Smith, Chris Noakes and Buxton Popoali'i, during a community clean-up in Dunedin yesterday.
Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark says he would not have signed England international James Haskell if he thought it would damage the team's reputation.
A process to find private investors to prop up the New Zealand Super rugby franchises will not include the Highlanders, who have quietly spent the past three months looking for their own model of financial prosperity.
The Highlanders will be swapping tracksuits for overalls when they dive into an intensive programme of community activities next week.
The 2012 Highlanders squad is about to dabble in a new code, "backyard cricket", against two of the resort's teams.