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    Lomax joins Highlanders a year early

    2017-09-21 11:47

    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 season. 

    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."

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