Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has revealed that he is looking for a experienced first-five before the start of next Super Rugby season.
Joseph says that he expects Colin Slade to move back to the Crusaders and he has just started the standard annual review process.
The Highlanders management will try to figure out why the Highlanders had so much talent but delivered just three wins and saw them drop from 9th in 2012 to 14 in 2013.
Part of the process will be finding a reliable first-five who will be supported by the inexperienced pairing Lima Sopoaga and Hayden Parker
Joseph says that he might try to lure Blues No.10 Chris Noakes back from the Blues.
"There's a lot of positions that we are looking for. Both those 10s are very young and inexperienced so I'll be on the lookout for a more experienced 10," Joseph told Stuff.
Slade and Sopoaga have suffered terribly on the injury from during their time with the Highlanders.
"The 10 situation this year, Lima Sopoaga has been injured most of the year. "
"There's a lot of media around Slade but Lima's been just as unlucky. The fact that he's not an All Black means he hasn't had as much attention. "
"He was out this year for two months with a high ankle sprain, the previous year he smashed his shoulder in game three against the Waratahs and was out for the season, the year before that he was only 19," Joseph said.
"When you have a team that doesn't have a consistent 10 playing well, it's very hard to build a team around that. I'm not sure I can do much about that. It's been a real disappointment."
As far as the coaching set up goes for next season Joseph's position is understood to be safe but his assistants Scott McLeod and Jon Preston are not as safe.
There has to be a scapegoat for the lack of delivery in 2013 and both are vulnerable.