Mauger ends Ioane experiment

28 May 2020 20:53:51 GMTPlus10

The Highlanders won't continue their experiment of playing Josh Ioane in the centres.

Coach Aaron Mauger used the one-Test All Black at No. 12 earlier in the Super Rugby season, while selecting Mitch Hunt at No.10.

But he says that's not something he is looking at for the Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign, with Ioane and Hunt set to battle with Bryn Gatland for the fly-half role.

Mauger, whose side start their season in the new-look competition against the Chiefs on 13th June, wants them to get off to a positive start.

The Otago only won one of their six Super Rugby games this year.

Mauger said of Ioane: "We see Josh as a No 10; it's highly likely that Josh won't be wearing the No 12 jersey.

"We've always thought that he was No 10 but we had a bit of an experiment early on.

"I wouldn't say it was an absolute failure but there are certainly some good lessons there for everybody."

The coach is in the happy position of having all his players available for the new competition, whereas in the first part of the year the Highlanders were hindered by injuries and suspensions among their midfielders.

"We've got lots of selection headaches; there's lots of good competition in our squad at the moment," said Mauger. "We've got quality midfielders and we've got quality No 10s.

"At times we've tried to get our No10s on the park and use them as ball players ... there is plenty of competition for those spots and nothing is a given for anybody."

The Highlanders are 23.00 to win Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The Highlanders are 3.00 to win their next game against the Chiefs, who are 1.40.

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