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Highlanders bolster 2025 squad 

NEWS: With the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season fresh behind us, the Highlanders shifted their focus to 2025 with the announcement of two signings.

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Finn Hurley has signed on the dotted line for the next two years.

The Southland born outside back who played first XV for Otago Boys High School is currently contracted to Otago for the NPC season.

Hurley – who started his rugby career at flyhalf before shifting to fullback and wing has had some standout performances for the Highlanders U20 side, which earned him selection for the New Zealand U20 side in 2022 – making three appearances before a Super Rugby debut for the Highlanders against the Western Force in 2023.

He played 10 games in his debut season for Otago in the 2023 NPC campaign, but unfortunately had a delayed start in 2024 due to injury.

He joined the Highlanders late in the 2024 season as an injury replacement – playing in four matches and delivering some impressive performances.

Highlanders High Performance Coach Kane Jury who recruited Hurley as a youngster is optimistic about his future.

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“Finn has come through our High Performance programme and our U20 system, so we have seen a lot of him over the last few years. Each year he gets better and better as his confidence grows. He has a wonderful skillset and versatility – he can comfortably play fullback, wing or flyhalf and with his pace can really create things on a field for himself and others.”

Hurley is relishing the opportunity for more time in the professional ranks.

“I really enjoyed the taste of Super Rugby I got this year and am excited about next season already. I know most of the boys within the team now and I’m keen to help the team push on to better things in 2025.”

Loose forward Hugh Renton has re-signed with the Dunedin based outfit for another two seasons.

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He’s been part of the franchise since 2021 and racked up 37 matches during his tenure.

Injury prevented him from playing more games in 2024 and was restricted to a few appearances at the start of the season, however his form up until that point was compelling.

He was the top try scorer in the 2023 season for the Highlanders.

He is expected to feature in the 2024 NPC season and will be looking forward to getting back on the pitch.

Renton is excited for the next two seasons.

“I am grateful to be able to extend my time at the Highlanders. This region and team feel like my second family and I am excited about the journey the team are on. We are just getting started and I am thrilled to be part of it.”

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has expressed his satisfaction to have confirmed Renton and Hurley.

“A couple of good signings for us, Hugh is player who revels in the physicality of the game and is also an aggressive defender. As a senior member of the team he knows what’s required at Super Rugby level and is a valuable member of the squad. Finn has the potential to mature into an excellent player over the next few seasons. He is very versatile and a real handful on attack for the opposition.”

All Black second row Brodie Retallick joins Jim Hamilton for the latest episode of Walk the Talk, touching on life in Japan, RWC 2023 and the future of All Black rugby. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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