Highlanders to give Emery a chance
March 14, 2013
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph is confident Jason Emery can hold his own against the Hurricanes' midfield © Getty Images
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph says Friday's game against the Hurricanes will provide up-and-coming centre Jason Emery with a chance to show his class at Super Rugby level.
The hosts have lost a number of midfielders throughout the campaign already, including Phil Burleigh, Tamati Ellison and Ma'a Nonu.
While Nonu could make his way back into the Highlanders lineup this week, Joseph says Emery could be given an opportunity to impress.
"There are concerns but that gives our young cent a real opportunity," Joseph said.
Emery, a star with the New Zealand Under 20 side last year, was named junior player of the year in 2012 and Joseph sees no problem slotting the youngster into the fold.
"He's certainly got the pedigree to be a good rugby player," Joseph said. "He's fit in quite well."
Joseph admitted training had been changed slightly as a result of their poor 19-36 loss to the Cheetahs last Saturday.
"It was a tough couple of days," Joseph added. "Bad loss for the team, we've looked at that - Monday was not a normal Monday."
Ellison is likely to be out for a further six weeks, ensuring Emery could spend some quality time in the middle of the backline across from the likes of Alapati Leiua and Hurricanes skipper Conrad Smith.