Highlanders sign Under-20 star following mass exodus
TRANSFER NEWS: Northland back Scott Gregory will shift South to play for the Highlanders in 2020.
Gregory a strong running outside back had a standout season with the Northland Taniwha during the 2018 NPC, the same year he was selected for the NZ World Rugby Under-20 Championship in France, where he played in all five games. He gained selection again this year for the World Championships in Argentina.
A former NZ age grade athletics champion, Gregory was a member of the All Blacks Sevens team this season playing in several tournaments throughout the year. He will be a welcome addition to the Highlanders outside back stocks next season with his strength and pace.
“I’m thrilled to be given an opportunity to head down south to the Highlanders for the coming season. All part of a childhood dream,” said Gregory.
Gregory has signed through to 2021 with the Highlanders, who have been hit hard by the post-World Cup exodus.
All Blacks Ben Smith (Pau), Waisake Naholo (London Irish), Liam Squire (NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes), Jackson Hemopo (Mitsubishi DynaBoars), Luke Whitelock (Pau), Elliot Dixon (Ricoh Black Rams) and Tyrel Lomax (Hurricanes) are among 12 key players who are set to leave the franchise at the end of the year.
Super Rugby veterans Marty Banks (NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes), Matt Faddes (Ulster), Tevita Li (Suntory Sungoliath), Tom Franklin and Richard Buckman (both Kobelco Steelers) are also heading offshore next year.
With Smith, Naholo, Faddes, Li and Buckman all members of the squad’s outside backs, Gregory’s signature is a valuable one for the 2015 Super Rugby champions.