WATCH: Freddie Burns makes his Super Rugby debut for Highlanders
By Rugby Onslaught

WATCH: Freddie Burns makes his Super Rugby debut for Highlanders

Just under a month after his final game for Leicester Tigers, Freddie Burns made his competitive debut for the Highlanders in round one of Super Rugby Pacific on Saturday.

The England international came on in the second half to replace No12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen at the Forsyth Barr Stadium against the Blues, although it was not a great position to be in. His side were already losing 41-20 when he entered the field of play, and they actually failed to score a point while he was on the field, while the Blues added another 19.

Unsurprisingly, his contribution was largely defensive during the 20 minutes he was on the field, but it was enough to earn him a starting berth against the reigning champions the Crusaders in Christchurch this Friday.

Speaking about the decision to leave Leicester, Burns said: “This decision is not one I have made lightly and has been unbelievably hard.”

“It’s hard to put into words what Leicester Tigers and what this group of players means to me. I can’t single out one thing that I’ll miss the most, I will miss everything about being a part of this club.”

“At this stage in my career, the opportunity was one I saw as too good to turn down and go down to gain this experience on the field as well as the life experience of living and playing in New Zealand.

“Now, for me, is the right time to move on and I am so grateful to Wiggy, the board and everyone at the club in allowing me to make this next step in my career.

“I leave with a heavy heart but will be giving my all until I leave Leicester Tigers.”

Take a look at his game:

Crusaders XV
1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor (VC)
3. Tamaiti Williams
4. Scott Barrett (C)
5. Sam Whitelock
6. Ethan Blackadder
7. Tom Christie
8. Christian Lio-Willie
9. Mitchell Drummond
10. Richie Mo’unga
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku
12. David Havili
13. Jack Goodhue
14. Sevu Reece
15. Fergus Burke

16. Brodie McAlister
17. George Bower
18. Seb Calder
19. Zach Gallagher
20. Sione Havili Talitui
21. Noah Hotham*
22. Braydon Ennor
23. Macca Springer.
* Debut

Highlanders XV
1. Ayden Johnstone
2. Andrew Makalio
3. Jermaine Ainsley
4. Paripari Parkinson
5. Will Tucker
6. Billy Harmon (C)
7. Sean Withy
8. Nikora Broughton
9. Kemara Hauiti-Parapara
10. Freddie Burns
11.Connor Garden-Bachop
12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen
13. Josh Timu
14. Jonah Lowe
15. Sam Gilbert

16. Rhys Marshall
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Saula Mau
19. Max Hicks
20. James Lentjes
21. Folau Fakatava
22. Mitch Hunt
23. Mosese Dawai