Selby-Rickit scores development contract


MANAAKI Selby-Rickit says he is eating like a savage at the moment as the Highlanders management attempt to add some bulk to the promising lock.

Selby-Rickit was one of the Southland Stags’ best during the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup and as a result he has been signed by the Highlanders Super Rugby team on a development contract.

The Highlanders have seen potential in the skilful second-rower, but the first task is to add some bulk before they throw him into the Super Rugby mix.

Selby-Rickit has had little time off following a Mitre 10 Cup season in which he carried a big workload for Southland.

The Highlanders summoned him to Dunedin last week when the goal of adding weight to his 2m frame started.

There is a lot of lifting weights and protein shakes in Selby-Rickit’s life at the moment.

“I’ve been eating like a savage. I’ve been eating six times a day, which has been quite hard for me. I’m also in the gym two times a day,” he said.

Selby-Rickit tips the scales at 112kg and the plan is to add 5kg of muscle over the next six months.

He is living with his netball-playing sister Te Paea Selby-Rickit, who has a house in Dunedin.

He will remain part of the Highlanders’ set-up in Dunedin through to March, with hope it might become an extended stint with the Highlanders next year.

“I’m hoping I might get some game-time through the preseason and there also might be some opportunities come up through the [Super Rugby] season as well.”

Selby-Rickit acknowledged this period in his career provided a massive opportunity for him to make his mark as the Highlanders coaches and strength and conditioning coaches provide him with some guidance.

The 21-year-old was previously part of the Manawatu Rugby Union academy but shifted to Southland last year after he struggled for opportunities in Manawatu.

He quickly developed into a key asset for the Stags at Mitre 10 Cup level, which was acknowledged when he claimed a host of awards at Rugby Southland’s end-of-season prizegiving.

They included the Stags players’ player honour, most improved forward, and the Supporters Club’s most promising player.

It is understood Selby-Rickit’s emergence prompted interest from other unions, including his former province Manawatu.

However, Selby-Rickit has opted to sign with Rugby Southland for a further two years.

He said Southland had provided him with his opportunity at Mitre 10 Cup level and wanted to provide some payback by sticking with the Stags.spy offersGifts for Runners