Jamie Mackintosh sticks with Stags
Southland centurion Jamie Mackintosh has committed to Rugby Southland for the next two years.
Mackintosh, who made his debut for defending Super Rugby champions the Chiefs against the Crusaders last night, will be part of an experienced Southland forward pack in 2014 which includes Tim Boys, John Hardie, Elliot Dixon and Josh Bekhuis, along with second rower Michael Fatialofa.
''I'm so grateful to be part of a quality franchise like the Chiefs, and be able to come home to Southland, a province I care deeply about and love playing for,'' Mackintosh said.
Incoming Stags coach Brad Mooar was pleased to retain Mackintosh's services.
''It is awesome for the Stags and Rugby Southland to have secured Jamie's signature for a further two years. An icon of Southland rugby and the Stags, Jamie is invaluable to our plans going forward,'' Mooar said.
''Since the beginning of the year I have spoken and met with Jamie a number of times - his commitment to, and passion for, the Stags and Southland is clearly shown in his words and actions.
"The way he speaks of the team, union and province with such passion and enthusiasm, together with his obvious leadership and playing abilities, epitomises the type of person we want playing for us - it's great to have him on board.''
Rugby Southland general manager Brian Hopley said the union was happy to secure the front rower.
''Whoppa has always given 100 per cent for Rugby Southland on and off the field. His leadership, skills and passion for the game and his province make him a great asset.''
Rugby Southland has also signed goal kicking fullback Jamie Verran from Mt Manganui.
Verran has been a fringe player for Canterbury while studying civil engineering in Christchurch.
He will play club rugby in Southland and push for a place in the Stags backline.
Mooar said Verran, a former New Zealand sevens representative, had pace and could cover first five-eighth.
He'll arrive in Southland next month after completing work commitments.
- The Southland Times