The Otago Highlanders are, as stated above, based in Dunedin, New Zealand, however there are players that have been drafted from other provinces (namely Southland but also North Otago).  For example ex. Southland Stags player Paul Miller, Jeff Wilson and Tony Brown (All of these players ended up playing in the black jersey), just to name a few. But thats not hugely important.

Before we get into this, lets sort out where the name "The Highlanders" actually originated from.  According to www.highlandersrugby.com, in 1995 the IPC (Inter-Provincial Championship) was formed. To be in the IPC you needed to have a name for your team, so John Cossens, the ORFU (Otago Rugby Football Union) marketing manager came up with The Otago Highlanders.

Why the Highlanders?

There are actually several key reasons:

  • The three provinces where players are drafted from, Southland, Otago, and North Otago were all founded by Scotts between the 1840's and 1850's.


  • A "Highlander" was directly linked with the fierce Scottish warriors that portrayed a strong affinity with one roots, it symbolised loyalty, strength, honesty and hard work.


  • Scottish place names are predominant in the drafted provinces (Dunedin and Invercargill for a start).


  • The logo of the Highlanders, a highland warrior brandishing in one hand a claymore and in the other a shield, symbolises that equal attention should be paid to attack and defense.


  • Now you know what the Highlanders are, where they come from, and why they are the Highlanders, its time to rattle off the management.  I've listed the entire official staff below and will try and keep them updated as much as possible.


    Laurie Mains                     Coach 
    Greg Cooper                      Assistant Coach 
    Des Smith                        Manager 
    Donny Cameron                    Massuer 
    Peter Gallagher                  Physiotherapist 
    Annemarie Mains                  Media Liaison 
    Andre Richardson                 Trainer 
    Stuart McMain                    Team Doctor 
    

    Laurie Mains was the coach of the All Blacks from 1992 to 1995, a full commentary of his win/loss ratio can be found and analysed at www.uidaho.edu/clubs/womens_rugby/RugbyRoot/ rugby/Countries/NZ/laurie.html

    Rugby is huge in New Zealand, its claimed to be the national sport, and with a large majority of kids playing school-boy rugby then hopefully in the years to come rugby will continue to flourish and be a strong culture of New Zealanders.

    The Highlanders Song


    We are the Otago Highlanders
    We're here to play the game
    From Auckland to Australia, theres no one quite the same
    As we the Otago Highlanders, and rugby as our game
    Welcome to the house of pain

    Otago Highlanders, thats our name
    Otago Highlanders, here to play the game
    Otago Highlanders, winning is our aim
    Welcome to the house of pain

    From Waitaki to the Bluff, up central too
    For all the loyal scarfies Highlanders!'know what to do
    for we play with passion, and pride in our game
    Welcome to the house of t-t-taine <<<------------------------------------Taine Randell - Former Captain of the All Blacks.

    Otago Highlanders, thats our name
    Otago Highlanders, here to play the game
    Otago Highlanders, winning is our aim
    Welcome to the house of pain

    Otago Highlanders, Otago Highlanders
    Otago Highlanders, Otago Highlanders
    Otago Highlanders thats our name
    Otago Highlanders here to play the game
    Otago Highlanders winning is our aim
    Welcome to the house of pain


    Sources:
    http://otagohighlanders.freeyellow.com/
    http://highlandersrugby.com/

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