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    Ben Smith returns for Highlanders

    2017-05-25 09:01

    Cape Town - Fullback Ben Smith returns after a three week break from injury to play his record equalling 127th game for the Highlanders and the Waratahs in Dunedin on Saturday.

    Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.

    Smith stands beside former Highlanders captain Anton Oliver as the club's most-capped player.

    Also returning from injury is No 8 Luke Whitelock meaning a shift for Elliot Dixon to blindside flank while Aki Seiuli and Siate Tokolahi retain their starting spots in the front row.

    Waisake Naholo returns on the right wing, replacing Patrick Osborne, after serving his one game suspension.

    The bench has an experienced look to it with regular starters Ash Dixon, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Joe Wheeler, Lima Sopoaga and Rob Thompson all included.

    Head coach Tony Brown is delighted to be back home after three weeks on the road.

    “It’s always good to be home under the roof in front of our home fans, especially after being away for so long. I know the players are all really looking forward to the challenge against a Waratahs side that includes so many Wallaby players, it should be a good contest.”

    Teams:

    Highlanders

    15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Aki Seiuli

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Rob Thompson

    Waratahs

    15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson

    Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Angus Taavao, 19 David McDuling, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Irae Simone

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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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