New deals for Highlanders duo

Date published: March 16 2015

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Highlanders wing Patrick Osborne and lock Joe Wheeler have signed new contracts with the Dunedin-based franchise until the end of the 2016 season.

Osborne was happy to sign a new deal and said he was enjoying his stint with the Highlanders since joining them in 2014.

"I guess I had a few options to consider before deciding my future, in the end the lifestyle my family has down here and the rugby I have been playing, pretty much made up my mind that the Highlanders was the best option for me," he told Fairfax Media.

We are a pretty close group down here and we enjoy each other's company and the style that we play is good for a winger I think. Playing under a roof helps."

Highlanders boss Jamie Jospeh said he was impressed by Osborne's attacking ability.

"He is a genuine finisher who can also create something from nothing for you," explained Joseph.

"We look forward to him continuing that for us for the next year or two."

Wheeler has played 29 matches for the Highlanders since joining the side in 2011.

"I really came down here to get some regular game time and sort of reignite my career again," said the 27-year-old.

"I don't regret it for a minute; since day one I have felt at home here – the environment and style of game we play all suits me perfectly.

"It's the main reason why I think I have been able to be consistent in my form. There are always opportunities offshore, but I am quite happy here so I was comfortable committing to the Highlanders."

Joseph highlighted Wheeler's importance to the Highlanders pack.

"Joey has been my go to man in the lineouts for a few seasons, he's consistent and reliable and I look for those qualities in my forwards. It's good to secure him for next season."

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