The Highlanders insignia above represents a strong and proud warrior battling on the craggy highlands of Scotland. He stands with his arms raised in defiance, in a rampant stance, proud and strong, ready for any challenge that should come his way. In one hand he brandishes a claymore; in the other hand a shield - attack and defence in perfect balance. Modern-day Highlanders play their rugby the same way - ferocious in attack, tenacious in defence. The colours of the emblem and jersey have direct links to the three provinces that make up the Highlanders franchise: gold for North Otago; blue for Otago; maroon for Southland.
see his family blog )for the last 30 years, about today's team. This is what I said:
" Jamie Macintosh (left) is the captain a farmer from Southland who weighs in 127 kg and the hooker, a relative of mine, is Andrew Hore from Cromwell, and many of them are strapping lads with history like ours going back to Scotland and gold and coal mines of early Pakeha NZ. The best player is a raw-boned Adam Thomson, another Central Otago farmer. They are coached by Jamie Joseph, an ex hulk of an All Black and from a very respective Malborough Maori family.. At the begiinning of the year no one gave them a chance of winning many games but have won 5 out of 6. If they beat the Stormers today, they will be on top. Speights, Hokonui, rugby, sheep, labouring, goldmining are things that come out of the Highlands of Otago and Southland. The game is on at 1935 NZT today so you must watch it James. . A sporting legend is being born with this unknown team clouting allcomers. You can imagine the Speights that will be flowing in those ancient wooden pubs throughout Southland and Otago today, north from the Waitaki River, to Milford in Fiordland, and Oban on Stewart Island, as they cheer their boys on. They brushed aside the All Black studded poofs from Canterbury and West Coast Nelson called the Crusaders, with one stroke of a Southland sword, with their tartans flailing, and bagpipes screeching lacrimoso."
Hosea Gear of the Highlanders makes a break during the round six Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Melbourne Rebels at Rugby Park Stadium. Photo / Getty Images
A very special alliance was formed in 1995 between the three provincial rugby unions south of the Waitaki River. This alliance was named the Otago Highlanders and it was formed in order to do battle in the new Super 12 competition. After five years in the competition, Otago was removed from the name, and from this time onwards the team has been known simply as the ‘Highlanders’…a name which fully acknowledge the power of the three unions.
And we proudly wear this bold tartan in the form of kilts with nothing under them as our ancestors did.
The earliest settlers in this southern area were Maori - the iwi of Waitaha, Ngati Mamoe and Rapuwi followed by Ngai (Kai) Tahu. However it was to the predominantly Scottish settlers who emigrated in 1848 that the Highlanders name and colours owed their origin. The word ‘Otago’ is an English construction of the Maori word, Otakou, the Ngai Tahu settlement on the peninsula. These early Scottish settlers arrived in ships such as the Philip Laing and the John Wickliffe, carrying family names such as Cargill, Macandrew and Burns. They founded Dunedin, which was the old Gaelic name for Edinburgh. So close was the resemblance between the new home and the old that Dunedin soon became known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. The Scottish heritage is there for all to see in Oamaru, Dunedin and Invercargill; in the architecture and the street names; and in the statue of Robbie Burns in the Octagon in Dunedin.
There is more to the Highlander than heritage, tradition and living history. The name and image of the Highlander conjures up visions of fierce independence, pride in one's roots, loyalty, strength, kinship, honesty and hard work. Highlanders are traditionally conservative and shaped by enduring values, balanced by action, flare and imagination. There is a unity borne from adversity; Highlanders work hard and play hard - a tight-knit bunch not to be challenged lightly.
The Highlanders insignia represents a strong and proud warrior battling on the craggy highlands of Scotland. He stands with his arms raised in defiance, in a rampant stance, proud and strong, ready for any challenge that should come his way. In one hand he brandishes a claymore; in the other hand a shield - attack and defence in perfect balance. Modern-day Highlanders play their rugby the same way - ferocious in attack, tenacious in defence. The colours of the emblem and jersey have direct links to the three provinces that make up the Highlanders franchise: gold for North Otago; blue for Otago; maroon for Southland.
United We Stand
Our three unions have come together to form this strong southern alliance under the banner of 'United We Stand'. We are part of something special - we play for each other as a team, we play for our loyal and staunch supporters. Come rain, hail or shin our vocal supporters will be there willing our team to win. Being a Highlander means being prepared, being accountable, and being responsible. When our warriors pull on the jersey they represent a proud group of player, they represent all those who have worn the jersey before them, and all those who will proudly wear the jersey in time… they also represent family, bloodlines, this province, and the loyal fans.
So I will be going out to get a few cans of cold beer, cook some haggis and watch the game at 1 pm Colombo time today.
All Highlanders be humble, be accessible, be proud in defence, be defiant in attack… be your best!