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Highlanders star Ben Smith has inked a deal with New Zealand Rugby, which will see him play his rugby in New Zealand through to 2020.
SANZAAR has confirmed the fixture list for the Super Rugby season, which includes a change to the qualification process for the finals.
Highlanders hooker Ash Dixon was taken to hospital on Thursday but it was announced that he has no serious injury.
The Highlanders will be without fly-half Hayden Parker this season after he was ruled out with a knee injury, it was confirmed by the franchise.
It appears Marty Banks is set to remain in New Zealand after it was confirmed he has been training with the Highlanders in pre-season.