SPORTS

Naholo, Osborne Out: McKee

As the race continues for a spot in the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, two prominent names have been ruled out. Vodafone Flying
17 Mar 2015 09:44
Naholo, Osborne Out: McKee

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As the race continues for a spot in the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, two prominent names have been ruled out.

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee confirmed that Highlanders duo Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne will not be available for selection for their respective reasons.

McKee revealed that despite the duo outstanding performances in the 2015 Super Rugby season, they won’t be donning the national jumper in September.

“Naholo has played 7s for New Zealand so he is not available to us,”Mc Kee said.

“I spoke to Patrick last year and he expressed an interest in playing for Fiji when his current New Zealand Rugby Union contract finished which was this year.

“I was hoping he would be available for consideration in the RWC but I understand that he has signed a 1-year extension to his NZRU contract as a New Zealand-eligible player. This would mean he will be unavailable.

“I will be meeting with him in New Zealand towards the end of April to discuss the situation in greater detail.”

Naholo scored the second try for the Highlanders while Osborne scored the bonus winning try that handed the Dunedin franchise their 26-19 victory over the Waratahs on Sunday.

Highlanders wing Osborne and lock Joe Wheeler have signed new contracts with the Dunedin-based franchise until the end of the 2016 season.

Osborne was happy to sign a new deal and said he was enjoying his stint with the Highlanders since joining them in 2014.

“I guess I had a few options to consider before deciding my future. In the end the lifestyle my family down here and the rugby I have been playing, pretty much made up my mind that the Highlanders were 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.”

Highlanders boss Jamie Joseph said he was impressed by Osborne’s attacking ability.

“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.”

Wheeler has played 29 matches for the Highlanders since joining the side in 2011.

“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.”

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 



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