Dixon leads Highlanders, Smith ruled out
Cape Town - The Highlanders will have a new captain and welcome back two
experienced players for the big southern derby game against the
Crusaders on Saturday.
Ben Smith is sidelined this week which means his All Black team-mate
Elliot Dixon will captain the side.
Dixon has played 64 games for the
Highlanders since debuting in 2012.
“Elliot is an experienced campaigner who always gives 100 percent and
will lead the team by example, I know he’s pretty excited about the
opportunity to skipper the side,” said head coach Tony Brown.
In other changes, Richard Buckman will replace Smith at fullback
having returned from the Japan League a few weeks ago with Joe Wheeler.
Wheeler will make his first appearance in 2017 from the bench.
Siosuia Halanukonuka will start at tighthead with Siate Tokolahi moving
to the bench and Patrick Osborne takes Matt Faddes’ place in the 23.
15 Richard Buckman, 14 Waisake
Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima
Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon
(captain), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam
Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Adrian Smith, 17
Craig Millar, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21
Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Patrick Osborne
15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11
Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7
Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3
Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18
Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond,
22 Marty McKenzie, 23 George Bridge