Morland's taking care of business in Manawatu

Last updated 12:00 20/06/2014

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Toby Morland might be living with his in-laws at Rongotea, but the rugby world hasn't forgotten him.

Not when he has played for the Highlanders, Chiefs and Blues as well as Otago and Auckland in 2010.

Morland, 31, has been playing for Te Kawau but won't be tomorrow because he was named to play for the NZ Barbarians against the Highlanders at Invercargill tonight.

"They were short of halfbacks," he said. "It will be good fun and good to catch up with my parents in Dunedin."

Rugby still appeals after a career of 10 years. However, at the moment he and his wife Kate are putting everything into the new business they have set up in Palmerston North.

It is named Studio Rubix, a personalised nutrition and training gym in King St.

"The idea is to have clients come in and use it, more for people who don't want to get lost in a gym or don't have the motivation.

"We've got it looking pretty cool."

They both have physed degrees in exercise prescription from Dunedin and Kate is also a dietitian. Morland also has a commerce degree and a diploma in sporting performance. They also have two little daughters to look after.

Although full on with the business, Morland would happily play for Manawatu if asked, but is not getting stressed about it if it doesn't happen.

"I'd love to have a crack for the Turbos," he said. "It is hard to turn down playing provincial rugby."

At Te Kawau he has enjoyed the camaraderie of the mostly younger players.

"You forget the stuff that is second nature to you."

After playing the first of his 47 games for Otago in 2002 (until 2008), he has mostly had an income, good by New Zealand standards, every year from rugby.

"It's a challenge to carry on earning money when you've never really had any other job."

In 2009 he spent six months with Munster in Ireland, replacing an injured player.

That year he was at the Chiefs when, with Brendon Leonard out injured, Morland played the Super 14 final in Pretoria where they were hammered by the Bulls.

For the past two years he played professionally in Russia for the Krasny Yar club where former Manawatu players Craig Clare and Ryan Bambry have played.

"I miss the group of people and the rugby there a little bit," Morland said. "It was hard living over there, just so isolating in the middle of Siberia.

"It was a 5-hour flight to Moscow so we usually played two games away at a time." They even played in the Russian-occupied Crimea.

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- Manawatu Standard


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