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Highlanders aim to continue strong pre-season form

Highlanders aim to continue strong pre-season form

All BlacksFebruary 21, 2024

Highlanders assistant coach Dave Dillon believes changes to the side's preparation will bear fruit in DHL Super Rugby Pacific in 2024.

Evidence from an unbeaten pre-season shows there has been progress, and the side has got better, and that was due to their work in the Dojo around combat conditioning and some other technical aspects of attack that have worked well.

"We progressed through the three pre-season games, and up at Methven at the weekend, the boys were pretty good on that side [defensive] of the ball – it's such a dynamic game and it's Super Rugby. It's fast, and you can be on attack and defence; it's chaotic.

"So I'd like to think that we've prepared the boys well and the boys are well aware of what's in front of us on Saturday. The boys are champing at the bit to play."

Dillon said they had worked on the defensive attitude required at Super Rugby level.

"It comes from how much you care in your group. We've done a lot of work around where we were at last year and reflected on that and around our culture.

"I think there's been some big steps there. And going away on camp to Alexandra and being in Central Otago and seeing the people that we represent, and being around them, is something that's given us awareness around who we need to inspire."

ROUND 1: Highlanders v Moana Pasifika, Saturday 24 February, 7.05pm NZT, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

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