Highlanders flanker Liam Squire ruled out for the season

The Highlanders confirmed on Monday that the 30-year-old would miss the rest of Super Rugby Aotearoa due to a recurring knee injury, with no timeframe given on his return to rugby.

“It is tough for Liam, he has worked hard to get back in shape to have a big season but his knee has flared up again which means we have to give him time now to rest it and try and get it right,” Highlanders coach Tony Brown said in a statement.

Squire played about 20 minutes off the bench against the Crusaders in round one and the Chiefs in round two, but he has not been seen since.

Jordie Barrett's big night out in Dunedin

Barrett converted all three of his own tries and kicked three penalties as the All Blacks utility back led his team to their first win of the season.

The 24-year-old, playing at fullback, put his side's first points on the board after six minutes with a penalty before scoring the opening try three minutes later.

Barrett finished off a straightforward move that saw the Hurricanes win their own line-out and move the ball through the backs before crossing the Highlanders' line.

Highlanders re-sign lock Pari Pari Parkinson for 2022

Pari Pari Parkinson, the 203cm, 130kg lock, has re-signed for another year until the end of the 2022 campaign, following the signature of halfback Folau Fakatava announced last week.

“It’s been a frustrating few years in a way, with injuries but I am hopeful with the body now in good shape that I can get some good performances under my belt and push on from here,” the 24-year-old said in a statement.

“I had options to move on but in the end I believe I will get the best out of myself by staying with the Highlanders.

Highly rated halfback Folau Fakatava re-signs with the Highlanders until 2023

After an impressive Mitre 10 Cup campaign with Hawke's Bay, Fakatava has made a strong start to the Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign sharing halfback duties with All Black Aaron Smith.

Fakatava said Smith's guidance has been a huge help to his development as a player and he's enjoying living in Dunedin.

Nareki hat-trick sparks Highlanders win

After twice being reduced to 14 men, and struggling for momentum in the first half, the Highlanders looked in trouble as the home team took a 20-11 lead into halftime.

But the Chiefs' organisation on defence proved too haphazard in the second spell, and Nareki was in punishing form.

The two teams had exchanged early penalties in a cautious start, Damian McKenzie sinking two for the Chiefs while Josh Ioane kept the Highlanders in touch with one.

New Highlanders signing Solomon Alaimalo moves south for 2021 provincial season

Rugby Southland confirmed the significant coup on Friday, the same day Alaimalo will make his debut for the Highlanders in the opening match of the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season since moving south from the Chiefs.

By signing for Southland, the 25-year-old will also have a new side to play for in the NPC as he joins younger brother Charles, who has been at the Stags for the past two seasons, in Invercargill.

According to a report from Stuff, Alaimalo is believed to have turned down offers from bigger provincial unions to join Southland.

Crusaders defeat Highlanders in Super Rugby pre-season match

Winger Timoci Tavatavanawai scored two tries for the Crusaders, while prop Fletcher Newell and flanker Sione Havili also crossed for the reigning Super Rugby Aotearoa champions.

Brett Cameron converted all four tries to secure the come-from-behind win.

Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman (2) and wingers Jona Nareki and Ngane Punivai scored the Highlanders tries.

The dramatic win may come at a cost for the Crusaders, who lost tighthead prop Oli Jager to a potentially serious foot injury.


Highlanders sign star Otago wing Freedom Vahaakolo

Vahaakolo scored seven tries in his debut season for Otago last year and won the NZRPA Mitre 10 Young Player of the Year award, impressing his peers with his pace, power and finishing ability.

Eyebrows were therefore raised when he missed out on a full Super Rugby contract but the door has now opened in Dunedin, with Highlanders wing Sam Gilbert not expected to be available until April as he recovers from the ACL injury he suffered last year.

Highlanders and Reds to kick off Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

The draw has been finalised for the five-week competition.

The Highlanders and Crusaders will be at home in round one with the Hurricanes, Blues and Chiefs heading to Australia for the start of a tournament that pits New Zealand's five Super Rugby against the Reds, NSW Waratahs, Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels and Western Force.

The final between the two top-placed teams on the combined competition table is scheduled for Saturday, 19 June.

Liam Squire ready for Highlanders and All Blacks return

Squire last played for the team in 2019 and has been back in New Zealand rehabilitating an injury after a brief stint playing in Japan, he is expected to be back to full fitness by the time the competition starts on February 26th.

The former test blindside will join Japanese World Cup player Kazuki Himeno, Crusader Billy Harmon and James Lentjes in the loose forwards, with the latter returning from injury after missing Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020.