Treeby keen to do the yards for Highlanders
Shaun Treeby is looking forward to a fifth season with the Highlanders next year.
The 25-year-old followed his former Wellington NPC coach Jamie Joseph to Dunedin in 2011 and recently committed to another year with the southern franchise in 2015.
"It's been really good this year. Obviously, last year there were a few issues but they've solved that and the environment in the team is going really well," the hard-running midfielder said.
"It's good that we are winning but that doesn't fix every problem. The coaches have done a lot of work in the off season to see where they could improve and what could be done better. Things like [assistant coach] Tony Brown coming on board, it adds to the environment and it's just become a lot more positive and enjoyable."
Treeby will continue to play his provincial rugby for Wellington for the next two years, the union he debuted for in 2009, going on to play in two finals and two semifinals without managing to claim a title.
The opportunity to head back to the capital fulltime, or overseas, had been hard to weigh up, Treeby said.
"It was a tough decision, that's where I started my rugby and it's where I call home now. In the end, I'm liking how we are at the moment and I've been here a few years now. I'm a bit of a Highlander man, so I decided to stay for another year."
Playing for an overseas club also remained an option, Treeby said.
"I've definitely thought about it. In a way that's why I've only signed for one year, just to keep my options open. I don't really know what I want to do, so I went for some security and I'll see what I want to do after that.
"I'm on 48 caps for Wellington, so I want to get at least 50 for them and it would be nice to win the NPC title for once, instead of getting second or third."
Joseph said Treeby had played an important role for the Highlanders this season.
"He's an unsung hero in our backline. There have been a lot of accolades going to the 13, the 15 and the nine, but he's a big tube of Super Fix for us. Every team has to have a really good balance of players - you can't just have guys who want the ball, you have to have some guys who will do the yards."
The Highlanders take on the table-topping Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday.
A win would book the Highlanders a place in the Super Rugby playoffs for the first time since 2002, something the Highlanders were well aware of, Treeby said.
"The boys are pretty excited about this game," he said.
"They are top of the table at the moment. We always rise for the big games and we are looking forward to it."
- The Southland Times