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Hosea Gear to bring up 100 Investec Super Rugby matches

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thehighlanders.co.nz and James Mortimer     28 Jun 2013     Getty Images

. The Highlanders resume competition play after the June test window, and with Highlander Hosea Gear playing his 100th Investec Super Rugby game, a large crowd is expected in Dunedin.

Hosea made his debut for the Highlanders in 2012 and has had a remarkable run. He played all 16 games in 2012 and has not missed a game this season, bringing his total games for the Highlanders to 29 caps. Hosea made his debut for the Hurricanes against the Chiefs in 2004. With 36 tries in Super Rugby and 42 tries at provincial level, he has proven himself as one of the best finishers in the game.

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has seen the development of Hosea into a world-class player and professional athlete.

“I have seen Hosea develop into one of the best players in the world in his position. He is one of the hardest workers both on and off the field. He always brings a professional approach to the Highlanders team environment and is highly respected by all the guys. Our team would like to congratulate him for reaching this remarkable milestone”.

Highlanders' General Manager Roger Clark also congratulated Hosea on reaching 100 games in Super Rugby.

"Hosea is a remarkable player and a strong leader within our team. He has always done his talking on the field and led by example and this season has been one of his best. On behalf of the Highlanders I would like to congratulate Hosea on reaching 100 Super games tomorrow night".

Tomorrow night’s game is the 23rd between the southern neighbours with the Crusaders having the on-field advantage with 15 wins to the Highlanders 8. Jamie Joseph has made three changes to the starting XV that dispatched the Blues on 1 June. Tony Woodcock starts at loose-head prop, Elliot Dixon replaces the injured John Hardie at openside flanker and Kade Poki comes back into the run-on XV after a long absence with a rib injury. On the bench, Lima Sopoaga makes his return from an ankle injury.

Ticket sales have been strong all week with 16,800 tickets sold to date. Forsyth Barr Stadium capacity is 22,600.

Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 29 June, 7.35pm.

1. Tony Woodcock (122)
2. Andrew Hore – captain (138)
3. Ma’afu Fia (21)
4. Brad Thorn (104)
5. Josh Bekhuis (68)
6. Jarrad Hoeata (44)
7. Elliot Dixon (13)
8. Mose Tuiali’i (74)
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (11)
10. Colin Slade (44)
11. Hosea Gear - vice-captain (99)
12. Shaun Treeby (23)
13. Tamati Ellison (74)
14. Kade Poki (39)
15. Ben Smith (69)

Reserves
16. Liam Coltman (10)
17. Bronson Murray (42)
18. Jake Paringatai (7)
19. TJ Ioane (10)
20. Aaron Smith (41)
21. Lima Sopoaga (15)
22. Ma’a Nonu (132)