ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Friday May 8, 2020

Hopes of New Zealand stars returning to restructured domestic Super Rugby comp

The announcement that New Zealand will be returning with its own brand of Super Rugby during the COVID-19 pandemic would have delighted rugby fans everywhere on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

While this is good news for much of the rugby world, the Highlanders will be all too aware of the challenge ahead of them. Before the current crisis brought the suspension of rugby, the South Island outfit sat comfortably at the bottom of the New Zealand Conference with six points.

By comparison, the fourth place Hurricanes had 17 points and the Crusaders had 23 at the top.

After many core players left the Highlanders at the end of last Super Rugby campaign, they have not been as strong as they were in former years, but broadcaster and writer Scotty Stevenson gave a glimmer of hope to fans by suggesting some former players could return.

The Top League season in Japan has already been cancelled, meaning players could have a fallow period before next season. With that in mind, Stevenson questioned on Twitter “Could The Highlanders be making a play for Elliot Dixon, Liam Squire and Jackson Hemopo?”

Ricoh Black Rams’ Dixon, Mitsubishi Dynaboars’ Hemopo and NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes’ Squire were all part of the contingent who left the Highlanders, but such a query by Stevenson has led to speculation by fans of other potential returns.

ADVERTISEMENT

A teammate of Squire’s at Red Hurricanes, former fan favourite Marty Banks’ name has appeared on social media as another player who could be lured back to the struggling franchise.

There are also hopes of players from further afield such as Pau’s Ben Smith and London Irish’s Waisake Naholo making a comeback. This may be wishful thinking though, particularly as there are still hopes of the Gallagher Premiership resuming.

Fans have also aired the idea of former All Blacks captain Kieran Read returning to the Crusaders from Toyota Verblitz. The No.8 has said that the Top League’s cancellation may signal the end of his career, although he still has another year on his contract.

While such moves may be hopeful, the reality is that it may be a long time before rugby returns in certain parts of the world. There are leagues that are still biding their time before completely annulling the season, but there is not necessarily any light at the end of the tunnel yet.

ADVERTISEMENT

From that perspective, a move back to New Zealand for some players is the perfect opportunity to return to playing.

RELATED VIEWING:

Video Spacer

Related Articles

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge puts on his boxing gloves ready...

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy scenes as player deliberately kicks...

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    RFU make decision on transgender players...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Jero De La Fuente pulls Hamstring and uses it to score incredible try

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Waisale Serevi: The greatest sevens player ever

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    David Campese: The Aussie all time great

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    The man who once raced a Cheetah: Bryan Habana

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Controversial Etzebeth Incident Still Being Debated

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Juan Imhoff Takes Full Power Frans Steyn Kick To The Face

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Springbok Fans Left Reeling At Officiating Despite Convincing Win

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Bundee Aki Shown Red Following Ludicrous Challenge

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    The Latest Tuilagi Has Just Made His Top14 Debut And Is A MONSTER

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Harlequins fans furious at refereeing decision that gives Exeter the win

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Carlos Spencer Proves Why He Is Rugby's Greatest Ever Magician

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Worcester name 41-year-old academy coach in tonight's premiership cup clash

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy refereeing decision leads to All Blacks win

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Speculation rife after apparent handshake snub in All Blacks coaching box

View All

Funnies

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    John Smit Shares Epic Bakkies Botha Story Highlighting Why Opponents Feared Him

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Heart-warming drop goal competition between Foster and Reece goes viral

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Hilarious Streaker Tries To Distract Sharp Shooting Goal Kicker

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Throwback To The Wildest Conversion In Rugby History

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    "I'd Beat Him" Quade Cooper Speaks Out On Potential Jake Paul Fight

View All

Amateur

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Hilarious Club House Antics Shows Rugby Spirit

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: South African Schools Rugby Is On Fire

View All

Player Features

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Joe Simmonds addresses lack of form in honest interview

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby great Eddie Butler sadly passes away

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Graham Rowntree reacts to missing out on 2003 world cup in fascinating video

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Official: Christian Wade signs for French club

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Etzebeth proves to be rugby's biggest thug once again

View All