Highlanders' Phil Burleigh off to Scottish club

Last updated 23:51 26/06/2014
Phil Burleigh
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
HEADING NORTH: Midfield back Phil Burleigh will join Scottish club Edinburgh after the Highlanders' season is over.

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Highlanders midfield back Phil Burleigh will join Edinburgh on a two-year deal, the club has announced.

The 27-year-old has been a provincial regular with Bay of Plenty and made his Super Rugby debut with the Chiefs in 2010 before joining the Highlanders in 2012. He has played 32 times for the southern franchise and has been a valuable backup in Jamie Joseph's backline since being called south as an injury replacement.

Though Burleigh has played principally as a midfield back at Super Rugby level, Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has signed the Kiwi to cover the No 10 role.

"We've signed him primarily as a stand-off but he is also comfortable at 12 and 13, which is important, both in terms of intensifying squad competition and facilitating future rotation," Solomons said.

Burleigh, who will head north after his Highlanders commitments conclude, said he was excited about the new challenge in his career.

"I've spoken to Alan who talked me through his vision and the squad for next season and it sounds like he's building a good future for the club, moving towards competing further up the table and getting back into the European Rugby Champions Cup," Burleigh said.

Burleigh is in the reserves for Friday's huge Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium. Both teams are chasing a victory to solidly their claims for the playoffs.

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