Police treating death of a man at his Rotorua home as suspicious ... Read more

Highlanders a godsend for Richard Buckman

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
Richard Buckman
RICHARD BUCKMAN: "Was pretty good at holding a hit-pad by the end of three years, so it's been great to come down here and get a chance."

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Marty McKenzie nails bench role at Crusaders, McNicholl back from injury Clear-headed Teihorangi Walden focuses on new opportunity at Highlanders Chiefs' punt paying off for Kane Hames as he gets another shot at Super Rugby Waratahs assistant coach Nathan Grey gives Leolin Zas red card a green light Super Rugby Team Talk: Is Taranaki happy with the Chiefs, and move over Fitzy Time for Crusaders to shine in Super Rugby without Nemani Nadolo Dean Mumm owns up to spreading illness on NSW Waratahs tour to South Africa Waisake Naholo, Marty Banks poised for return to injury-hit Highlanders Several question marks for Chiefs team ahead of local derby with Highlanders Super Rugby sensation Damian McKenzie re-signs with Chiefs for two years

Richard Buckman says he got very good at holding hit-pads during a three-year stint with the Hurricanes wider training squad.

He headed south this year to join the Highlanders, intitially as part of the organisation's wider training squad.

He had originally prepared himself to yet again spend lots of time holding hit-pads, with the hope of getting a shot later in the season.

Instead, through some good pre-season form and the unavailabilty of other players, Buckman has made a rapid rise and stepped out of the shadows at the Highlanders and into the starting lineup on a regular basis.

"I was floating around at the Hurricanes for three years, so it was a long time really. was pretty good at holding a hit-pad by the end of three years, so it's been great to come down here and get a chance."

Throughout the opening rounds, he's headed off the likes of Patrick Osborne and Kurt Baker for a spot starting on the wing, which highlights just how far he has come. The 24-year-old from Napier said there were some subtle differences between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders.

"I think we're probably a bit more physical down here, we do a lot more work and there are a few more trainings to get everything right, so it's good," he said.

"It's not going too bad at the moment, I've still got a bit of work to do on attack and, hopefully, I can score a try one of these days. I think wingers are supposed to do that, so, hopefully, it comes my way soon."

While it has been an encouraging start for Buckman at the Highlanders, the challenge is expected to get that bit more intense tonight as he eyes a Bulls team that he thinks will provide him with the biggest test to date.

Buckman has impressed with his ability in the air and is expecting a lot more of the high ball tonight.

"I've grown into it but I think we're going to be targeted with these South African teams that love the old high ball, so we're expecting a barrage."

Buckman felt the current contracting format, where he can stick with his beloved Hawke's Bay in the provincial ranks but head elsewhere in the country to chase Super Rugby opportunities, was ideal.

"I wouldn't really want to play for anyone else but Hawke's Bay, but to get an opportunity to play for a franchise down here is a great opportunity for me."

Buckman is signed for Hawke's Bay for the next two seasons.

Highlanders vs Bulls, 7.35 tonight, Dunedin

Ad Feedback

HIGHLANDERS: Ben Smith (co-captain), Richard Buckman, Malakai Fekitoa, Shaun Treeby, Patrick Osborne, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Elliot Dixon, Shane Christie, Gareth Evans, Joe Wheeler, Brad Thorn, Chris King, Liam Coltman, Kane Hames. Reserves: Ged Robinson, Craig Millar, Ma'afu Fia, Jarrad Hoeata, John Hardie, Fumiaki Tanaka, Trent Renata, Nasi Manu (co-captain

BULLS: Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Jono Ross, Victor Matfield, Flip van der Merwe (captain), Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling. Reserves: Bongi Mbonambi, Marcel vd Merwe, Paul Willemse, Jacques Engelbrecht, Piet van Zyl, Handre Pollard, William Small-Smith, Morne Mellet

Referee: Rohan Hoffman

- The Southland Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?






Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content