Highlanders bench NZ stars
Cape Town - The Highlanders have dropped All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith and centre Ma'a Nonu to the bench for their Super Rugby clash against the Blues in Dunedin on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.
Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka will replace Smith while Shaun Treeby takes Nonu's place in midfield.
Other changes to the backline see Colin Slade start at flyhalf and Trent Renata on the right wing.
Among the forwards, Ma'afu Fia and Jamie Mackintosh start in the front row, alongside captain Andrew Hore.
The Highlanders are currently rooted to the bottom of both the New Zealand Conference
and Overall standings
, while the Blues find themselves third and seventh in the respective logs.Teams:
15 Ben Smith, 14 Trent Renata, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Elliot Dixon, 19 TJ Ioane, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Hayden Parker, 22 Ma'a Nonu Blues:
15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tim Perry
Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Marty McKenzie, 22 Jackson Willison