Highlanders

Blackie heading for Japan

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Highlanders and Otago captain Josh Blackie will continue his rugby career in Japan, he said today.


Blackie,27, has played 55 games for the Highlanders and 73 for Otago, is regarded as one of the outstanding openside flankers in New Zealand rugby.

 

He has played for the Junior All Blacks for the past two years as well as New Zealand sevens, including the gold medal performance at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games last year.

He is captaining the Highlanders for the first time this year and led Otago in the Air New Zealand Cup last year.


‘I’ve certainly enjoyed my time with Otago and the Highlanders and I’ll cherish the memories and the people from my career in Dunedin,’ he said, ‘but this was an opportunity too good to turn down.’


The chief executive of the Otago Rugby Football Union, Russell Gray, said Blackie had been an outstanding representative of Otago rugby.


‘He’ll be missed, that’s for sure, but as I’ve said before, players going overseas to continue their careers is a fact of modern rugby life. Neither we nor even the New Zealand union can hope to compete against offers from some overseas clubs.’


Blackie’s announcement comes a week after prop Carl Hayman said he was moving to Newcastle in England after the World Cup.

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