Highlanders

NZRU farewells Blackie

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The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) on Tuesday paid tribute to Highlanders and Otago flanker Josh Blackie, who has confirmed his move to Japan.

Blackie has played 55 games for his Super 14 franchise and 73 matches for his Air New Zealand Cup province since making his provincial debut in 1999.

At a national level, the 27-year-old was a member of the unbeaten Junior All Blacks side on their tour of Australia in 2005 and the IRB Pacific 5 Nations in 2006.

He was also a key player in the success of the New Zealand Sevens team in 2006, when the side won a third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. In 2005, Blackie was a member of the national team that made the final of the World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong.

In all, he represented New Zealand Sevens in 12 tournaments.

New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens said Blackie was an outstanding individual.

“He is a true professional who has made a real impact in both forms of the game. One performance that stands out for me is the leading role he played in the final of the Commonwealth Games. He was simply magnificent in that match. I would like to wish him all the best for the next chapter in his rugby career,” Tietjens said.

Highlanders coach Greg Cooper said Blackie would be sorely missed.

“He is an outstanding person and player who will undoubtedly leave a void, not only for his playing ability but his leadership qualities as well. He led the Highlanders with pride this year and I thank him for his contribution to Otago and Highlanders rugby,” Cooper said.

 

365 Digital

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