NZ Rugby World

Finding that Front-Row Edge


The Highlander­s are the only team in New Zealand who do not have a prop with All Blacks experience. That’s not exactly a comforting feature for the side who had the worst success rate at the scrum in Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020. Their propping stocks look very familiar for 2021, with their regular quartet returning alongside a couple of new recruits. What will that mean for their set piece? They will need to show some improvemen­t from a year ago, particular­ly with a number of the other franchises strengthen­ing their group of props. The other area of concern for the Highlander­s again depends on their forwards group, with their work at the ruck needing to show signs of improvemen­t in the season ahead. As was the case with their scrum in 2020, they had the lowest percentage of rucks won last season. There are teams in the competitio­n whose work at the ruck is among their strong suits, and they could really impose themselves on the Highlander­s this season if the Southerner­s do not improve in that area of the game.

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