Rebel Adams to return for Stags
While the Highlanders’ All Blacks will return to New Zealand tomorrow for a three-day camp, the rest of the team will head to Brisbane to prepare for next weekend’s clash with the Reds at Suncorp Stadium.
Consecutive wins in Australia is a must if they aren’t to be left behind on the standings, particularly with a date against the Hurricanes in Dunedin looming on June 1, their final match before Super Rugby goes into hiatus.
‘‘We want to keep improving, keep on getting better. And, of course, we want to finish strongly. The New Zealand conference is incredibly tight, so making sure we are doing everything we can do be in good shape for that is absolutely paramount,’’ Delaney said. Melbourne Rebels playmaker Tayler Adams is returning to Southland.
Adams, a former New Zealand under-20 representative, has signed with the Southland Stags for the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup season.
Adams, now 24, made his debut for Southland as an 18-year-old halfback in 2012 but has since switched his focus to first-five.
He played 24 matches for Southland over 21⁄ seasons before crossing
2 the Tasman after missing out on a contract with the Stags for the 2015 season.
‘‘I don’t think I really made my mark, so it’s exciting times to come back and give it another crack,’’ Adams said.
‘‘Hopefully I can help the team rebuild with some of the younger talent coming through.’’
Switching from the nine to the 10 jersey has helped revive the career of the former Kelston Boys’ first XV captain.
He credits former Melbourne Rebels assistant coach Todd Louden, who has guided him at the West Harbour Pirates club, for the transition.
‘‘Over the past year and a half, I’ve started to feel really comfortable at 10,’’ he said.
‘‘The positional change has brought me more into the game, I’m a lot more involved and thinking a lot more about what I’m doing.
‘‘It’s been a mindset change that I need to take charge rather than rely on other people to do that.’’
He can still provide cover at halfback but sees himself as a No 10 who can also run at fullback.
Adams was named in the Melbourne Rebels squad for the 2018 season.
Stags coach Dave Hewett expects Adams to make an easy transition back into the Southland environment.
‘‘The experience of moving away and having some time in Aussie has grown him from a rugby point of view, and probably from a personal point of view as well,’’ he said.
‘‘So we are really excited to have him back in the mix.’’
Melbourne Rebels squad member Tayler Adams has signed for the Southland Stags. GETTY IMAGES