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Leading by Example: Ethan de Groot Steps Up for Highlanders

Leading by Example: Ethan de Groot Steps Up for Highlanders

All BlacksMarch 7, 2024

Highlanders management has sent a strong message to their side after captain Billy Harmon and one of the leadership group, Sean Withy, were late for a team meeting ahead of their DHL Super Rugby Pacific game with the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday.

As a result, All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot has been named to captain the side.

Coach Clarke Dermody said that as part of the standards expected of the team, no matter who the players were, they would lose their place in the team, and someone else would get an opportunity.

"It's something we set out at the start of the year and is something all the players know."

Dermody said the incident in isolation might not be such a big deal, but if they don't maintain the standards they set, what did you stand for?

The players were disappointed because they were competitive, but they understood that where the Highlanders wanted to go, they had to live by their standards.

"It's a line in the sand around our standards that everyone understands where we want to go and what it looks like when we don't quite reach them."

Both players have been named on the bench for the game.

Dermody had confidence in de Groot's ability to handle the leadership.

"Ethan has had huge growth in his leadership over the past two or three years after coming in as a young prop.

"He's coming from the World Cup, so he's had that experience, and he's excited by this opportunity.

Colossal games inbound! 🛬

Which round 3 matchup are you looking forward to most?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/StTLBuTGLN

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) March 5, 2024

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