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Highlanders still to confirm coaching assistants

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James Mortimer     30 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Southland's Simon Culhane has confirmed that he will not be renewing his contract, citing family and commuting from Invercargill as reasons he had decided to part ways with Southern based franchise.

Joseph is turning his attention to next season, but Culhane has been with Southland while Kieran Keane has been wrapped up with his duties as head coach of Tasman.

The three former All Blacks have been instrumental in turning around the Highlanders fortunes, winning nine matches this season, with the only missing ingredient the prevention of a late season fade - which will allow the Highlanders to make the Super Rugby Final Series, something not achieved since 2002.

Joseph and Culhane had indepth knowledge of the local rugby region, while Keane has established himself as a canny analyst who was a key part of the Highlanders relentless defensive systems.

Culhane told stuff.co.nz that many factors led to the difficult decision to part way with the franchise.

"There was the travelling from Invercargill to take into account and I was away from my family a lot," he said.

"I just wanted to be able to spend more time with them."

"I have got a young fellow that is growing up now and the business [The Barn Company] I am involved in is also starting to take off and I wanted to spend more time with that."

Joseph reported to the Otago Daily Times he hoped to have his assistants in place in the next week or two so they can continue planning for next season.