Cowan to play his last season of Super Rugby

Highlanders half-back Jimmy Cowan has announced that he will leave the Dunedin franchise in order to join English club Gloucester.

Twenty-eight-year-old Cowan is currently in the midst of his tenth year with the Highlanders but will leave to play for Gloucester after the current Super Rugby season.

Cowan has played 51 Tests for the All Blacks since making his Test debut against Italy on the 2004 Northern Hemisphere tour. He played his 50th Test against Canada in last year’s Rugby World Cup.

The New Zealand Rugby Union paid tribute to Cowan who has played for the All Blacks, Highlanders and Southland.

Ten days ago former All Blacks captain and New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) Board Member Graham Mourie presented Cowan with a commemorative greenstone mere on behalf of the NZRU to celebrate him becoming just the second Highlanders player (behind hooker Anton Oliver) to play 100 matches for the franchise.

He has also clocked up 94 matches for the Southland province.

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said: “Jimmy is one of the real characters of New Zealand rugby and has grown so much as a player and a person since coming onto the scene more than a decade ago. He has been an incredibly loyal player – for his club, province, the Highlanders and the All Blacks – and we wish him well.”

All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen said: “Jimmy has been an outstanding All Black and given his all every time he has worn the black jersey. He is a passionate player and fantastic team man who wears his heart on his sleeve.

“Jimmy has the respect of all his teammates because of his commitment to the team and his mates and we are very proud of what he has achieved at all levels of the game. When he does go, he goes with the best wishes of the team.”

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