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Osborne milestone a first in career

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Thursday, April 27, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Injuries had denied him the opportunity to post 50 games for Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup last year and that had been disappointing but he was happy to achieve it for the Highlanders this weekend.

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He still recalls his debut game for the side. He scored a try against the Blues and centre Malakai Fekitoa had cut loose as the underdog Highlanders made an emphatic start in their rebuilding campaign.

The side was 'a lot of offcuts who banded together' and had gone well together eventually ending with the Super Rugby title in 2015.

He enjoyed playing with fellow wing and Fijian Waisake Naholo and said they go to another level when they play together and they were looking to play well against the Stormers.

Osborne said 2017 was likely to be his last season with the side and he was looking to play his future rugby in Japan. Whether that involved playing for Fiji in the 2019 Rugby World Cup would depend on whether Fiji wanted him and how his body was feeling.

While he was due to play for Fiji in their June internationals his start would be delayed because he planned to be available for the Highlanders to play the British & Irish Lions.

Meanwhile, captain Ben Smith is expecting the South Africans to be in uncompromising mood for the game.

"I think they probably learned a lot from that game [against the Crusaders] and they'll be really dangerous. We know what they're going to bring but it is just making sure that we're clear on what we want to bring to the game tomorrow night. It's going to be a massive challenge and it's pretty exciting because the Stormers are right up there in the competition.

Smith said the side were probably not as happy as they could have been last week against the Sunwolves and they were looking to improve on Friday in what was a significant game for them in terms of the competition and their season.

"The Stormers can play a wee bit like a Kiwi team and they do really challenge you in the way that they play. They have some pretty exciting backs and I'm sure they'll be looking forward to getting down here and playing under the roof, and some of their forwards are really physical so it's a challenge we're going to have to make sure we meet," he said.