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Super Rugby

Highlanders Star Set for Return

It might be the second last regular season game, but one man is ready to make his season debut

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Highlanders star Liam Squire has been named in the starting line-up for his side’s match against the Bulls this Friday. 

He will begin the game at blindside flanker and in the process will make his first appearance of the season.

Squire has had hip and knee injuries along with some personal issues that have kept him side lined for the entirety of the season so far.

This will more than likely be his final home game for the franchise as he is set to join the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes at the end of the season.

He will be hoping to put in a big performance upon his return as his team currently sit 12th in the table and will more than likely need to win both their remaining games with bonus points to stand a chance of reaching the Super Rugby play-offs.

As well as having Squire back, the franchise is also boosted by the return of Tevita Li, Jackson Hemopo and Josh McKay, all of which missed out on the side’s tour of South Africa.

McKay will hope to take his chance as he starts in place of the injured Ben Smith, who is pushing for a return to action next week as he also prepares to depart the Highlanders for French outfit Pau.

Among the players making their final home appearance for the club are Waisake Naholo, who will leave for London Irish, Luke Whitelock who will join Smith at Pau, Hemopo leaves for the Mitsubishi DynaBoars, Tyrel Lomax will join the Hurricanes and Marty Banks who will link up with Squire at the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes.

The franchise is in need of a win and with such a large number of players playing their final game at the Forsyth Barr Stadium they couldn’t need any more motivation.

Premiership

Te’o Heading to Play in Super Rugby

England centre Ben Te’o has been heavily linked with a move away from the English Premiership and reports now claim he could be playing for a Super Rugby side next season

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

England and Worcester Warriors centre Ben Te’o could make a move to Super Rugby side the Queensland Reds according to Australian outlet The Courier Mail.

The 32-year-old’s contract with the Gallagher Premiership side ends this summer and it appears very unlikely that he will remain on English shores next season.

There have already been reports suggesting he has offers from French and Japanese clubs, however, it is thought that Brad Thorn is keen to bring in the Auckland native to replace departing centre Samu Kerevi.

Kerevi is one of a number of high-profile Australian players in line to leave the country after the Rugby World Cup, with the centre set for a move to Japan.

The Reds ended their season in a disappointing fourth position in the Australian conference which meant they failed to make the play-offs for a sixth successive season, but Thorn wants to bring the Queensland side back into contention with Super Rugby’s top sides.

Te’o, who was named as part of Eddie Jones’ England training camp this week in preparation for the World Cup would bring a huge amount of experience to the Aussie outfit.

He has 18 caps for England and played for the British & Irish Lions during their 2017 tour of New Zealand as well as his club career. If they do manage to claim his signature, it would be a decent way to fill the void being left by Kerevi.

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Super Rugby

Why Gibson is Stepping Away from the Waratahs

It was confirmed earlier today that Daryl Gibson would be walking away from the Waratahs and he has had his say on why

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(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Daryl Gibson has taken some time to explain his decision to resign from the Waratahs and has admitted he doesn’t know where he will go next. 

Gibson had a year left on his current contract with the Waratahs but believes that the talent coming up through the franchises ranks need a new coach to bring them on.

“We’ve got some absolute gold nuggets here that are going to filter through our system over the next three to four years and it’s time for another coach to take them on that journey and really own that process. Having been here for seven years, it’s time for a new voice, a new direction, a new game style as new players come into the team,” he said.

Of the 28 Wallabies to compete in the World U20 Championship final, 12 come from the Waratahs.

Gibson also insisted that the Israel Folau situation was not a contributing factor in his departure, however, he did admit that it had affected him personally.

“Obviously Israel’s had an incredible impact not only off the field but also on the field. We lost the highest try-scorer in the history of the competition and that has an impact, particularly on the (reduced) number of tries we scored during the season. It’s been a challenging period leading people through that. The time taken up and invested in that has taken away from rugby and focusing on it. I’m certainly challenged by that situation. I’m really proud of how the team’s responded to that situation but it has been tiring,” he added.

The former All Black then admitted he was entering the “totally unknown” and has not ruled out working with Michael Cheika again in the future.

“But I’m excited about that opportunity. I love coaching. I love being in rugby so there’ll be something there,” he finished.

Gibson’s time with the Waratahs was largely unsuccessful since taking over from former coach Cheika, with the side winning only 28 of the 64 games he has taken charge of.

The franchise will finish the Super Rugby season in 12th and will now need to find a replacement that can bring through the youth and bring success.

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Player Social

Will Genia hints that his Super Rugby career is over.

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Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

The Rebels played their final conference game on Saturday against the Chiefs in Melbourne but came out the wrong side of a drubbing.

After the game, Wallabies and Rebels’ scrum-half Will Genia took to Instagram with a very poignant post.

Genia (31) uploaded a picture collage with a try-scoring picture of himself getting over the whitewash for the Queensland Reds and more recently, the Rebels.

His caption read, “What a ride Super Rugby”.

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What a ride @superrugby ✌🏾

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His contract with the Rebels expires this year and he has been tipped for another move overseas. Genia has had a stint in Europe previously with Stade Francais but it’s rumoured that a move to Japan is looking more likely.

Quade Cooper, his current half back partner with the Rebels and previously with the Reds and Wallabies commented on the post,

“Much love bro! Been unreal being back together ✊🏾❤️ love you bro”

Quade Cooper is another whose contract is up in the air. His deal with the Rebels also expires at the end of the Super Rugby campaign and he has also been widely linked with a move to Europe with Harlequins one of the favourites to land the mercurial playmakers signature.

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