Lomax joins Highlanders a year early
Cape Town - New Zealand prop Tyrel Lomax will join the Highlanders from
the Melbourne Rebels in 2018, a year earlier than originally expected.
Two weeks ago, Lomax initially signed for the Otago outfit
on a two-year-deal that would only begin in 2019 because he still had a year
left on his contract with the Rebels.
But in an apparent turnaround, the Rebels have agreed to
release Lomax a year earlier than expected with Highlanders chief executive
Roger Clark confirming on Thursday the tighthead prop would join the team next
The 21-year-old comes highly-rated and was included in
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika's 48-man squad this year only to withdraw
himself so he could focus on returning to New Zealand to try and break in to
the national set-up.
Lomax has been mentioned by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen as
a potential debutant after long-term injuries to front row stalwarts Joe Moody
and Owen Franks.
"I grew up in NZ, and as an aspiring rugby player the
chance to play for a NZ Super Rugby club was too good an opportunity to turn down,"
Lomax said in a statement released by the Highlanders when he signed.
"As a young prop I can't wait to get to the
Highlanders, they have an awesome culture there and I just want to immerse
myself in it and learn as much as possible."