Osborne and Wheeler re-commit to Highlanders

Dunedin based Super Rugby franchise the Highlanders have announced that Patrick Osborne and Joe Wheeler will play Super Rugby for them until the end of 2016.

Osborne, who has been in red hot form for the Southerners since his move to Dunedin and was called into the All Black’s training squad in 2014.

Early signs this year are that he is returning to form with a scorching try against his former team during the Highlanders courageous win against the Chiefs and another strong performance during the Highlanders round five defeat of the Waratahs.

Osborne was happy to commit to the Highlanders early, “I guess I had a few options to consider before deciding my future, in the end the lifestyle my family has down here and the rugby I have been playing, pretty much made up my mind that the Highlanders was the best option for me. We are a pretty close group down here and we enjoy each other’s company and the style that we play is good for a winger I think. Playing under a roof helps”.

“Having a player of Patrick’s obvious talent has given us some real potency on the flanks; he is a genuine finisher who can also create something from nothing for you. We look forward to him continuing that for us for the next year or two” said Highlander’s Head Coach Jamie Joseph.

Hard working lock Joe Wheeler has also committed to the Highlanders for another season. Since his arrival in 2011 Wheeler has played 29 games and has been one of the mainstays of the Highlanders’ pack.

“I really came down here to get some regular game time and sort of reignite my career again. I don’t regret it for a minute; since day one I have felt at home here – the environment and style of game we play all suits me perfectly. It’s the main reason why I think I have been able to be consistent in my form. There are always opportunities offshore but I am quite happy here so I was comfortable committing to the Highlanders”.

Coach Joseph said “Joey has been my go to man in the lineouts for a few seasons, he’s consistent and reliable and I look for those qualities in my forwards. It’s good to secure him for next season.”

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