Highlanders sign two new midfielders

Rob Thompson has signed for the Highlanders

Super Rugby champions the Highlanders have confirmed after impressing in the ITM Cup Canterbury’s Rob Thompson and Otago’s Matt Faddes have signed with the franchise for the 2016 season.

Both players have had eye catching performances in the ITM Cup this season which have earned them contracts with the Super Rugby champions.

Thompson, is an exciting player who debuted for Canterbury in 2013 and after a solid year earned a wider training group contract with the Crusaders leading to his Super Rugby debut against the Blues in 2014. A powerful runner, who has the strength to play in the midfield and the speed to play in the outside backs, Thompson will provide versatility and depth to the Highlanders midfield stocks.

Thompson commented that “the Highlanders play an attractive style of rugby that appeals to me, they look to be a quality outfit and I’m looking forward to getting down there and doing my bit to continue the success they are enjoying.”

Faddes, like backs coach Tony Brown, grew up in South Otago and has been playing for Otago since 2011, debuting against North Harbour. Faddes has concentrated on fifteens rugby this season having had a stint with Sevens after being called into New Zealand Sevens team in 2013 and ended up helping them to a world series win in London. Having played most of his rugby at wing or fullback he has made the centre position his own this year for Otago using his pace and strength to good effect.

Faddes said when asked about joining the Highlanders, “I’m stoked to be playing for the Highlanders in 2016. It has always been a dream of mine from a young age coming from South Otago. Just really looking forward to next year’s opportunities”.

Asst. Coach, Tony Brown said, “we were looking for versatile players with good skill sets and speed, with a little bit of experience. Both Rob and Matt provide that for us, giving us multiple options in the backs. They are both young and exciting players for the future who had stand-out seasons in the ITM cup this year, scoring 16 tries between them.”

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