New deal for Osborne

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The Highlanders have been handed a boost ahead of facing the Crusaders with wing Patrick Osborne signing a new deal for the 2017 season.

The exciting back has played 47 games for the Highlanders since his debut in 2014 and has formed a lethal partnership with fellow Fijian Waisake Naholo.

Osborne will play for Japanese club Kubota Spears later this year before returning to Dunedin for the 2017 Super Rugby season. He has also made himself available for the Fijian national team in the June international window.

"Clearly we are delighted the Pat has committed to the team again, he very much represents who we are, and how we want to play as a club. He has been a great ambassador for rugby in New Zealand, has inspired many young Highlanders and Canterbury fans and we fully support his pursuit of an international career," said Highlanders CEO Roger Clark.

Having formerly played for the Crusaders and Chiefs, Osborne has enjoyed his time in the deep South.

"My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Dunedin, in the Highlanders' environment and are happy to recommit for 2017," he said.

Osborne said his decision to sign in Japan and play for Fiji was about family and the pride of playing for his country.

"I have been honoured to spend time in the All Black’s environment but am very proud of where I come from and have decided to commit myself to the Fijian team it's an exciting new challenge that my family and I are looking forward to," he added.