‘It’s been a great tour’ – Joseph

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph was thrilled with his side's efforts over recent weekends after they claimed ten points from ten on tour.

The reigning champions had to travel to Port Elizabeth and then Buenos Aires in back-to-back games but came out on top with two maximums.

And that has delighted Joseph as the team now returns home to Dunedin for another must-win, against the Chiefs, as they look to finish top in the New Zealand conference. Currently there are four sides, the Chiefs, Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders, pushing for that honour.

"It's crucial where we end up because obviously a couple of teams are going to have to jump back on a plane again," Joseph told Stuff.

"It's been a great tour for us."

Adding on Saturday's performance: "I was really pleased with the line-out, we prevented them from scoring any maul tries, our scrummaging was outstanding, so was our line-out. We're pretty happy going into next week."

What also pleased Joseph, who rotated his squad well in the games, was that no fresh injury concerns emerged from the recent win. In fact they could be boosted by the returns of number eight Liam Squire, prop Daniel Lienart-Brown and possibly hooker Liam Coltman next week.

"We've got big decisions to make, and not necessarily just at hooker," added Joseph.

The Highlanders are expected to arrive back in New Zealand on Tuesday, with their vital game against the Chiefs taking place on Saturday.