Warning as Tuiali’i gets his breath back

Former All Blacks No.8 Mose Tuiali’i wants to build on the momentum of his first game in New Zealand since 2008 when the Highlanders seek to break their Super Rugby duck against the Brumbies in Dunedin on Friday. Tuiali’i, 32, was a standout player for the winless Highlanders in last week’s loss to the Blues in Auckland, having answered a SOS call from coach Jamie Joseph to reinforce the injury-hit franchise. It had been two months since Tuiali’i had played for his Japanese club, Yamaha. ”The lungs were burning a bit,” he said. ”I was surprised how well I lasted.”Thorn tells Highlanders to do a Broncos

The ”granddaddy” of Super Rugby is drawing inspiration from the 1999 Brisbane Broncos to lead a Highlanders revival and Brad Thorn (pictured) is confident his team can stun the Brumbies on Friday night. The Highlanders are languishing at the bottom of the ladder and searching for their first win of the season, despite boasting All Blacks talent on their roster. The Broncos won one of their first 10 games in 1999 but stormed home to make the finals with a young Thorn in the second row. Now the 38-year-old says the Highlanders can go on a similar run. ”It’s a good test of character,” he said.

Chris DuttonMcAfee welcomed to RUPA board

The Rugby Union Players’ Association has opened its doors to women members for the first time and appointed World Cup-winning former Australian captain Cheryl McAfee to its board. RUPA chairman Bruce Hodgkinson, SC, said rugby had not looked after women players well enough. ”When you look at their achievements, the world cups they’ve won and the tournaments they’ve won, they have been great ambassadors for Australia and for the sport, and they deserve to be looked after in a proper way,” Hodgkinson said.

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The number of metres the Waratahs lead the Super Rugby competition by after seven games.Cooper denies rift with Deans

Quade Cooper has denied any continuing rift with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans after his surprise omission from a 30-man planning camp ahead of the British and Irish Lions series. Cooper is out of Deans’ prospective squad for the blockbuster three-Test series in June but he’s taken the non-selection on the chin. Preparing to fly to Hamilton for the Queensland Reds’ clash with the Chiefs, the 38-Test playmaker downplayed his omission. ”It’s no big issue, really, because we have a big season ahead of us,” Cooper said. ”The major issue is turning up in the Waikato and having a good game.”


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