Highlanders to change Super Rugby kit colours



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The Highlanders’ will mark their last home game at Carisbrook by playing in a new 2012 strip in their Super Rugby match against the Force on Friday, the franchise announced today.

Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark said today that while the new-look colours would be introduced fully next year, the team will play in the new colours on Friday night, and the jerseys will be signed and gifted to fans at the Carisbrook.

Clark said the new colours – which will only be unveiled in full at the Carisbrook on Friday – reflect a time of positive change for the Highlanders.

“We believe the time is right for change. We have a new coach, new players, new expectations, new and renewed fans, and next year, we will have a new home stadium. We hope that Highlanders fans in our region and around the country will continue to support a great coach and a great team, support the new colours and make the Highlanders franchise strong and enduring,” Clark said.

“We have chosen colours that we believe represent the physical characteristics of the whole franchise region. The colours will make a clear statement about the geography of our region and will stand out in the Super Rugby international competition”

“A year ago, the Highlanders was not a strong franchise – the team wasn’t performing and it was hard work for our fans. This year, there’s a real sense of renewal and renewed energy and our own research tells us that people across our Provincial Union regions want us to have a franchise identify distinct from their provinces”.

“While not revealing what next season’s colours will be, supporters will not have to wait long to find out – I’m encouraging all our fans to help us say goodbye to the Carisbrook and get down to support the new look, but more importantly, to support the team”.

“To mark our last home game, and to repay the support we have had so far this season, at the conclusion of the game the team will give the new-look playing shirts off their backs to 15 lucky supporters.”

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said the NZRU was supportive of the colour change.

“The Highlanders are going great guns; it’s been exciting watching them this year. Jamie is an inspirational coach, and they have a lot of new – and not so new – players who have made other teams sit up and notice them”.

“Next year, the Highlanders will have a new home, a new strip and potentially some new players. If 2012 is anything like 2011 it’s going to be a great year to be a Highlanders fan. I can’t wait to watch them.”

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said “for myself and the team this is an extremely important and exciting step in the development of the Highlanders into a truly regional team. We currently have a group of men from all over this country that are extremely proud to represent this region and we will all happily champion these colours as our own. “

“Really our job is to build some pride into playing for the jersey and ensure the opposition have plenty of respect for it”

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