Highlanders coach Tony Brown has revealed how the six players stood down from last week’s clash with the Crusaders received further punishment at training this week.
All Black Josh Ioane, as well as Sione Misiloi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Patelesio Tomkinson, were all left out of the Highlanders team that went on to clinch a famous victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch last Friday.
It was understood the decision was made after neighbours of Ioane registered several noise complaints about a party the All Black playmaker had hosted following the team’s loss to the Hurricanes in Dunedin.
Brown has since recalled two of the six for Saturday’s game against the Chiefs, with Tomkinson starting in midfield and Ioane named on the bench.
At the team announcement media conference on Thursday, Brown said the backline duo have earned their places after the partying saga.
‘They’re quality rugby players,’ he said. ‘They were disappointed with what happened last week but it’s in the past, they’re going to go out, play good rugby on Saturday night and prove to everyone else that they’re meant to be there.’
When asked how the group has proved themselves since they were stood down, he commented: ‘They were punished, they were punished, mate, don’t worry about that.
‘They had to do a bit of extra fitness, which most of the guys who don’t make the 23 have got to work to keep their standards pretty high, and they were the same.’
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