Highlanders’ guessing game ends at noon
Just who is the masked man the Highlanders are touting as today's "high profile" signing?
The Highlanders posted a silhouette of a mystery player on their Twitter page yesterday and promised to reveal all at 12 noon today.
The franchise is in the market for a first-five after losing Colin Slade to the Crusaders, although they do have Lima Sopoaga and Hayden Parker at their disposal.
World Cup-winner Stephen Donald has been linked with the franchise after being spotted in Dunedin following the end of the Super Rugby season.
He has gone to the Mitsubishi Dynaboars in Japan after a couple of seasons in England.
The Highlanders are not short of Japanese contacts and have previously brought players like Brad Thorn and Tamati Ellison back from the Top League.
Willie Ripia, who played one game for the Highlanders in 2006, has also been linked with the franchise.
The speculation prompted a sports website to suggest Australian bad boy James O'Connor could be heading to Dunedin.
O'Connor, who remains in talks with the Western Force, has told the Sydney Morning Herald he was heading to England on a short-term deal after having his contract with the Australian Rugby Union terminated.
The Highlanders have already signed their quota of two overseas players with Japanese halfback Fumiaki Tanaka and Argentinian prop Matias Diaz on the books.
They also sought a dispensation to get Ellison back from Japanese club rugby next season but were denied by the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark, coach Jamie Joseph and the franchise's media contact could not be contacted yesterday.
Highlanders chairman Ross Laidlaw said he would be surprised if O'Connor was coming to the Highlanders, but could not shed any more light on who the signing was.
It's understood the announcement has been organised as part of an exclusive deal with the Otago Daily Times.
- © Fairfax NZ News