The Highlanders have remained tight-lipped on the future of their coach Jamie Joseph who has been rumoured to take over as Japan's head coach.
Japan are looking for a new head coach after Eddie Jones vacated his position after the Brave Blossoms completed their Rugby World Cup campaign.
Jones initially joined Super Rugby outfit the Stormers before leaving the Cape Town-based franchise to take over the reins as England's head coach from Stuart Lancaster.
Reports in Japan stated that Joseph was one of five candidates shortlisted to coach Japan and that the Japan Rugby Union (JRU) and the Highlanders were negotiating an arrangement which will allow him to perform both roles.
“It has always been this organisation’s policy not to respond to speculative comment on players, or coaches for that matter, coming and going from our club,” Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said via a statement on Thursday.
Joseph, who represented the All Blacks at flanker in 20 Tests from 1992 to 1995, has links with Japanese rugby. The 46-year-old played club rugby in that country for five years and also made nine Test appearances for the Brave Blossoms in 1999.