Beauden Barrett How the Highlanders won the game of coaching musical chairs

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John Plumtree has thrown his name in with Ian Foster, 1 NEWS understands

ANALYSIS:Call it a bit of good fortune, good timing, or some very canny planning but the Highlanders will emerge from New Zealand rugby’s game of coaching musical chairs with smiles on their faces when the music stops.

The Crusaders, Blues and Hurricanes are all waiting nervously to see if they will lose key personnel to the All Blacks this month – the Hurricanes’ Jason Holland was the new name mentioned on the rugby grapevine on Tuesday – while the Chiefs will reclaim Warren Gatland for a year before losing him to the British and Irish Lions again.

Beauden Barrett The Highlanders paid for Tony Brown out of their own budget.


The Highlanders paid for Tony Brown out of their own budget.

By comparison, the Highlanders have begun their preparations for the 2020 Super Rugby season in a state of relative calm.

Tony Brown’s decision to stick with Jamie Joseph and Japan instead of the All Blacks has huge implications for the southern franchise, meaning they will get the services of the one of the world’s most coveted coaches for the next three years.

* All Blacks coaching job: Ian Foster’s head start is not the same as a done deal
* Warren Gatland’s rushed return to link with Chiefs in Super Rugby
* Ex-All Black Waisake Naholo scores 60 metre try for London Irish in Premiership
* Ardie Savea could be back in three months, Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee reveals
* Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown finalists for All Blacks POY
* Super Rugby: All Blacks ambitions brought Tony Brown back to Highlanders

The Highlanders secured access to Brown because, in effect, they got in before the All Blacks.

When the Highland

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