All Black hooker Andrew Hore has admitted he has always been a southern man at heart despite playing most of his career for the Hurricanes.
The 33-year-old has joined the Highlanders ahead of the new Super Rugby season and couldn't be happier with his move.
At the end of last season the hurricanes decided to cut several high profile players in favour of a fresh approach, with Ma'a Nonu, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden the other big names to walk away from the Wellington side.
After 10 years with the 'Cane Hore is a little annoyed at not being allowed to leave on his own terms, but is happy to be playing rugby close to his farm in Maniototo.
"It has all worked out pretty well," Hore told the Otago Daily Times.
The big man also admitted it was good to be able to look his mates in the eye again.
"I have made a lot of good friends up there, but there are no real regrets coming back here. Being a Highlander is something special and all my mates are supporters.
"I guess it sunk in when I realised I could just get in the car and drive to work rather than say goodbye to everyone, fill the suitcase up and head to Wellington.
"It is a new challenge with a new team and obviously we've got a new stadium. And I suppose I'll be able to go to my local pub and talk about how the Highlanders are going to go instead of getting grief about being a Hurricane.
"It is the breath of fresh air you need after reaching one [of] your major goals, which was the World Cup."
After the World Cup the popular No.2 decided against looking for a big money move to Europe and got back to keeping in shape by working on the farm ahead of his first season with the Highlanders.
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