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    50-up for Highlanders lock

    2017-05-18 09:24

    Cape Town - Highlanders lock Tom Franklin will run out for his 50th Super Rugby game when they face the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

    Kick-off is at 11:45 SA time.

    The 26-year-old, who made his debut for the Dunedin-based outfit in 2014, packs down in the second row alongside Alex Ainley as the Highlanders go in search of their eighth successive victory.

    Highlanders head coach Tony Brown has made minimal changes to his starting XV after last weekend's 17-10 win over the Bulls in Pretoria.

    In the backline, there are two changes with Tevita Li coming into the run-on side for the suspended Waisake Naholo on the wing and Kayne Hammington starts at scrumhalf in place of Aaron Smith, who is among the replacements. 

    Li will start on the left wing with Patrick Osborne, who wore the No 11 jersey against the Bulls, shifting over to the right wing.

    Meanwhile, in the forwards, Liam Coltman returns to start at hooker with Ash Dixon dropping down to the bench.

    Brown has also shuffled his back row with Elliot Dixon, who leads the side from number eight, swapping places with Gareth Evans who starts on the blindside flank.

    Also included among the replacements is All Black flyhalf Lima Sopoaga who is set to return to action after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in the Round 3 triumph against the Blues in Auckland.

    Teams:

    Force

    15 Luke Morahan, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes (captain), 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Brynard Stander, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Pek Cowan

    Substitutes: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Lewis Carmichael, 21 Isireli Naisarani, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 James Verity-Amm

    Highlanders

    15 Matt Faddes, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Elliott Dixon (captain), 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Garth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiulu, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Rob Thompson

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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