All Black star to face Sharks
Durban - Highlanders' head coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to take on the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday in the Super Rugby playoffs.
This will be the Highlanders’ second visit to the Shark Tank for 2014 and the team will be hoping to produce another stellar performance like the round 11 match-up that saw the Highlanders’ win 34-18.
Co-captain, Ben Smith, returns to the starting line-up after illness saw him miss the final regular season clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch last weekend.
There are two changes to the forward pack; Ged Robinson to start at No 2 and Jarrad Hoeata at 4 (Hoeata travelled from Dunedin on Sunday to join the team in Auckland before they flew out to Sydney) which sees Tom Franklin move to the bench.
In the backline, Lima Sopoaga has been recalled to the playmaker position of flyhalf and will be partnering with Phil Burleigh at inside centre.
Trent Renata moves back to the bench as utility cover.
The Highlanders have had a tough road to the playoffs after playing the top two teams in the competition in consecutive weeks on the road but are feeling good and looking forward to their first playoff game since 2002.
15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co.captain), 7. Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 JP Koen, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Tom Franklin, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Gareth Evans