Rutledge wanted to go on own terms

Leicester Rutledge already considers the end of his time with the Highlanders as water under the bridge.
He had already decided he didn’t want to commit to the franchise as manager for another two years, a decision which was cemented with the knowledge Simon Culhane was not continuing.
But Rutledge was disappointed with the the time it took for the Highlanders to make a call on him and the fact they only advised him after they had gone through the review process, gleaning what information they could from him in the meantime despite knowing they wouldn’t be continuing with him.
Asked to resign, Rutledge says he dug his toes in and put the onus on the Highlanders not to extend his contract instead.
Rutledge had it written into his contract that he could work with the Stags in the off season during his first year in Dunedin but the job went full time after that.
Next year it will be a 10 month role, with Jamie Joseph’s good friend Graham Purvis taking over as manager.
Despite not being entirely happy with the way things ended, Rutledge looks back on his two years with the Highlanders with justifiable pride for the way things have been turned around.
Rutledge, who has been helping out the Stags, is now returning to his roots with a gig as a stock agent for Silver Fern Farms and is adamant he won’t be coaching club rugby next year.
“Those guys deserve a medal,” he said.

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