Highlanders Coach Jamie Joseph today announced that Canterbury first five-eighth Colin Slade will play for the Highlanders franchise in the 2011 Investec Super Rugby competition.
After two seasons with the Crusaders, 22-year-old Slade, will be moving further South to cement his place as a specialist in the No 10 jersey, after signing a contract with the Highlanders for the 2011 Super Rugby season.
Joseph said Slade’s signing was a crucial acquisition for the franchise as he works towards building a successful team and campaign next year.
“We’re very excited he is going to be a key part of our campaign. Colin is confident that the Highlanders will provide the platform to enable him to work on his aspirations to play in a black jersey in next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“This is a great opportunity for Colin to showcase his talent. I have been impressed with his qualities as a player and as a leader and he will be a great addition to the Highlanders,” Joseph said.
Slade said he was excited about the challenge of moving to a leadership role within the Highlanders next year.
“I’m really keen to shift my playing ability up to the next level, and I think playing for the Highlanders will propel me in the right direction,” Slade said.
Slade debuted for the Crusaders in 2009. He has 26 Super Rugby caps and 50 Super Rugby points with the Crusaders. He is currently playing his third provincial season with Canterbury, having debuted against Manawatu in 2008.
A talented kicker with both feet, Slade represented New Zealand in the Under 19 squad in 2006, the Junior All Blacks in 2009, and this year he played for the New Zealand Barbarians that played against the New Zealand Maori team in Whangarei this year.