Otago Daily Times
SelbyRickit departing Southland for BOP
SOUTHLAND has lost one half of its batch of Super Rugby players.
Bay of Plenty announced earlier this week it has signed lock Manaaki SelbyRickit.
The towering lock has left Southland after first playing for the side in 2017.
He was off contract with Southland and has decided to head north, linking with Bay of Plenty, which is in the Premiership division of the Mitre 10 Cup.
SelbyRickit is one of only two players from Southland in the Highlanders.
Prop Siate Tokolahi also plays for the side. Selby-Rickit has plenty of talent and has impressed when playing for the Highlanders.
He came off the bench for the team last season late in games and made a real impact around the field.
His size and experience will be missed by Southland, which had an improved season last year with three wins.
The provincial competition is set to begin in August this year, but it is still up in the air as to what form it will take.
There had been suggestion the competition will be split into two on geographical lines which will then expand into playoffs.
That could bring an end to the Premiership-Championship split, which has been running since 2011.
No firm decision has been made by the national union on the competition. but time is fast running out on deciding on the format.
The loss of SelbyRickit is a big blow for Southland as he was a big body who made his presence felt in the contact area and was also a force in the lineouts, winning plenty of ball.
He is expected to be in the picture for a starting lock position with the Highlanders.