Wellington Lions, Highlanders for Shaun Treeby

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 11/06/2014
Shaun Treeby
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LION LANDER: Shaun Treeby (centre) gets a hug from Aaron Smith after scoring in the Highlanders' victory over the Melbourne Rebels at home.

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Highlanders midfielder Shaun Treeby signed to play for Wellington this season but he's not about to switch Super Rugby allegiances to the Hurricanes.

The Tawa rugby product has signed with the Wellington union for the next two seasons but will continue to play his Super Rugby in Dunedin.

Treeby has been capped 48 times for the Lions since making his debut in 2009 and appeared in two finals (2009 and 2013) and two semifinals.

"Wellington will always feel like home to me and I still have unfinished goals that I want to achieve in the Lions jersey," the 25-year said. "During my time, a couple of championships have slipped through our fingers, so I'm looking forward to putting in some hard work and hopefully contributing to an ITM Cup title."

Treeby's signing is a timely one for Wellington coach Chris Boyd, whose midfield stocks have taken a few hits in recent weeks.

The departure of Tim Bateman to Japan and Alapati Leiua to London Wasps was compounded by first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga's decision to play his provincial rugby for Southland.

That's likely to see new recruit Riki Flutey, originally signed as a second five-eighth, shift in a spot with Treeby to play outside him.

Treeby came through the Tawa Rugby Club and Wellington Rugby Academy but ,with his way blocked at the Hurricanes by All Blacks midfielders Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith at the time, shifted south to the Highlanders in 2011.

His Highlanders contract was to run out at the end of 2014 and, with the Hurricanes midfield stocks hit by the departure of Bateman and Leiua, there was speculation he could return for Super Rugby.

That won't happen with Treeby, a member of the Highlanders leadership group this season and in strong form inside new All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa, deciding to extend his stay in Dunedin to a fifth season.

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- The Dominion Post

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