Frustrated Coach Tony Brown accused six Highlanders of “dropping the team” after breaking team protocols ahead of Friday’s clash against the Crusaders.
All Black Josh Ioane, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Patelesio Tomkinson and Sione Misiloi have all been disciplined.
Read on for all the latest news from the AU and Aotearoa Super Rugby team.
Brumbies fan neck one of the boot
SUPER RUGBY AT, SEVEN ROUND
WARATAHS vs BRUMBIES, Friday 7.45pm AEDT at Sydney Cricket Ground
WARATAHS (to be confirmed)
BRUMBIES (to be confirmed)
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The individual brilliance of the red star
REBELS vs REDS, Saturday 7:45 p.m. AEDT at AAMI Park
REBELS (to be confirmed)
RED (to be confirmed)
Weird end of the crusader winger
SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA, SIX ROUND
CRUSADERS vs HIGHLANDERS, Friday 5:05 PM AEDT at Orangetheory Stadium
Crusader winger George Bridge has been named to start what will be his first Super Rugby game since breaking his pectoral muscle while training with the All Blacks in October.
Bridge, normally a left winger, was named on the right wing in place of Sevu Reece, Leicester Fainga’anuku retaining the No.11 shirt.
“Leicester has been superb for us, and we just wanted to make sure we had flexibility in our options in the back, and give George the chance to play on both wings, because he can also play in the back.” , Crusaders coach Scott Robertson told me.
“He can show the All Blacks selectors that he has a utility factor and that he can play both sides.”
Meanwhile, Highlanders coach Tony Brown has expressed disappointment after Josh Ioane, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Patelesio Tomkinson and Sione Misiloi broke protocols at team and were not considered for selection.
“They let the team lower their standards,” said Brown.
“They broke the code we live in. It all depends on professional habits.
“They have let down the team and the whole organization, and they will not be available for selection.”
It’s a blow to the struggling Highlanders, who are 1-3 in Super Rugby Aotearoa after a disappointing 30-19 loss to the Hurricanes last Friday night.
Stuff understands that there was a loud party at Ioane’s house last weekend and Brown almost confirmed the incident was alcohol-related.
“I can’t really tell. It’s internally,” he says.
“They let down their standards of preparation. They let down the leadership, they let down the organization.”
Brown said he expects more from the talented playmaker who risks wasting his talent.
“Josh is an All Black. If he wants to go back, he sure has to be better.”
Crusaders (15-1): Will Jordan, George Bridge, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Richie Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond, Cullen Grace, Sione Havili, Ethan Blackadder, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett (c), Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Joe in a bad mood
Reserves: Brodie McAlister, George Bower, Oliver Jager, Mitchell Dunshea, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Bryn Hall, Fergus Burke, Sevu Reece
HIGHLANDERS (15-1): Connor Garden-Bachop, Scott Gregory, Michael Collins, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Folau Fakatava, Kazuki Himeno, Billy Harmon, Shannon Frizell, Pari Pari Parkinson, Bryn Evans, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon (co-c ), Ethan de Groot.
Reserves: Liam Coltman, Ayden Johnstone, Josh Hohneck, Josh Dickson, Hugh Renton, Aaron Smith (co-c), Caleb Makene, James Lentjes
Barrett breaks the Highlanders
BLUES vs HURRICANES, Saturday 5:05 p.m. AEDT at Eden Park
BLUES (to be confirmed)
HURRICANE (to be confirmed)
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