By . | Posted: Wednesday June 17, 2020
Rugby, Cricket and Basketball all make headlines.
Wallaby tighthead prop Jermaine Ainsley has inked a two-year deal with the Highlanders that will see the New Zealand born player turn out for the Highlanders in 2021.
The 24-year-old Ainsley hails from Clyde in Central Otago and is the son of former All Black Joe McDonnell who represented both Otago and the Highlanders between 1999-2003 and made 8 appearances for the All Blacks .
Ainsley played for the OBHS First XV before moving to Perth to be closer to his family. He was rewarded for good club form in 2016 when he was selected for the Western Force making his debut against the Rebels in the first round of Super Rugby that season. After two seasons and 17 games for the Western Force he was selected for the Wallabies in 2018 winning his first test cap off the bench against the All Blacks in Sydney. He played two further tests that year during the Wallabies Northern Tour against Italy and England.
Following the Western Force being excluded from Super Rugby, Ainsley joined the Melbourne Rebels signing a deal through to the 2020 season. A hard-working ball carrying prop he will be a welcome addition to the Highlanders propping stocks in 2021.
The first round of fourteen (14) contracts have been offered to Otago Volts players today, as the squad shapes up for the 2020/21 season. In compiling the list of offers, an Otago Cricket contract review group, managed by Performance and Talent Manager Simon Forde, engaged coaching staff including head coach Rob Walter, Volts selectors and NZC High Performance staff to consider the agreed contract criteria as set out in the Master Agreement.
The squad has a familiar look to last season, with all players in the fourteen having been contracted to the Volts previously. Performance Manager Simon Forde commented that “our focus for this year’s contracting process was the retention of the players that performed so well for the Volts last season. We are determined to build on the success of last season and believe we have a core group of players that can continue to grow and be consistently competitive across the three domestic competitions”.
Of the fourteen contracts offered, Dale Phillips and Max Chu represent the only new players to receive contracts in the first round. Simon Forde noted “It’s fantastic to be able to offer first round contracts to both Max Chu and Dale Phillips. Both made an excellent contribution on and off the field during last season and with playing opportunities will no doubt show their class in the years to come”.
Under the terms of NZC’s Master Agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, the listed players have until 21 June to accept or decline the contract offers.
Congratulations to former OBHS players Benoit Hayman and Darcy Knox for their selection in the 2020 Otago Nuggets team competing in this year's Sal's NBL tournament in Auckland on June 23rd. They will come up against former school mates Sam Timmins (Franklin Bulls) and Joe Cook-Green (Canterbury Rams).
Another six (former and current players) make up the official squad for 2020. Congratulations to Aaron Roydhouse, Nathan Hanna, Tai Porima-Flavell, Mitchell Hughan, Michael Ruske & Josh Reeves.
Congratulations also must go to Brent Matehaere who has been named as head coach of the Otago Nuggets and will lead the campaign. At time of publishing, the Nuggets were two wins and one loss in the competition.