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McFarland to stay with Dunvant
December 10, 1999

North Harbour's NPC player of 1999 and former Auckland Blues hooker Slade McFarland has confirmed that he will remain with Welsh side Dunvant until the end of the British season.

After an impressive season in Super 12 1999, in a disappointing Blues side, it is difficult to see why McFarland was not considered amongst New Zealand's top 10 hookers when Super 12 2000 squads were announced last week.

Auckland NPC newcomer Keven Mealamu and drafted Southlander Davin Heaps were given the hooking positions ahead of McFarland, who will only be reprieved should any of the five New Zealand franchises' hookers pick up serious injuries.

However, Heaps is one player to watch this season following the uncertainties surrounding All Black incumbent Anton Oliver's disappointing World Cup campaign.He made it onto the All Black bench at the end of their disastrous 1998 Tri Nations , had a quiet Super 12 in 1999 before storming back to his best form in the NPC.He has a good chance to press for further honours with the Blues in 2000.

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