Highlanders 2016

The Highlanders (known as the Pulse Energy Highlanders for sponsorship reasons[1] and formerly known as the Otago Highlanders) are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Dunedin that compete in Super Rugby. The team represents the North Otago, Otago and Southland unions. The Highlanders take their name from the Scottish immigrants that helped found the Otago, North Otago, and Southland regions in the 1840s and 1850s. Their main ground through the 2011 Super Rugby season was Carisbrook in Dunedin, with home games occasionally being played in Invercargill and Queenstown. The Highlanders moved into Carisbrook's replacement, Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza, for the 2012 season; the stadium opened in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but after the Super Rugby season.

The team was formed in 1996 to represent the lower South Island in the newly formed Super 12 competition. They finished the inaugural season eighth, and the following season finished last after winning only three of eleven matches. However, in the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons they qualified for semi-finals; hosting the 1999 competition final against fellow South Island team the Crusaders. They lost the match 24–19, and the following year were again knocked out by the Crusaders—this time in their semi-final. In the following fifteen seasons they would only finish in the top four once more, in 2002. But in 2015, they were crowned Super Rugby champions.[2]

Former Highlander, Anton Oliver has played a record 127 games for the Highlanders, and thirteen other players have played over 50 games for the team. The Highlanders' highest career points scorer is Tony Brown with 857 points, and highest career try scorer is Jeff Wilson with 35. They are currently coached by Jamie Joseph and are co-captained by Shane Christie and Ben Smith.

Name and Colors
The name Highlanders was chosen after the early Scottish settlers in the lower South Island. These Scottish settlers were the founders of Dunedin—known as the "Edinburgh of the South", and the city where the Highlanders are based.[44] According to the Highlanders official website: " The name and image of the Highlander conjures up visions of fierce independence, pride in one's roots, loyalty, strength, kinship, honesty, and hard work."[44]

The colours of the Highlanders formerly encompassed the provincial colours of North Otago, Otago, and Southland; yellow, blue and maroon. Blue is also the predominant colour of the Flag of Scotland, and is used by many sports teams in that country.

On 3 June 2011, the Highlanders introduced—controversially—a new predominantly lime green home kit.[45] It was debuted in the Highlanders' final home match of the 2011 Super Rugby season.

Despite the resounding negative feedback from fans, this kit was initially confirmed for the 2012 season. On 6 September 2011, however, the club announced a change of heart—they would be returning to their traditional blue strip for home matches, and using the lime green kit for away matches during the 2012 Super Rugby season.[46]

New Zealand Rugby Union
Founded: 1996
Dunedin, New Zealand
Ground: Forsyth Barr Stadium (Capacity: 30,748)
Most caps: Anton Oliver (127)
Top scorer: Tony Brown (857)
League: Super Rugby

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