All Black duo back for Highlanders
Dunedin - Aaron Smith and Ben Smith return for the Highlanders starting team for their Super Rugby derby against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday (kick-off 08:35 SA time).
Co-captain Luke Whitelock will play at No 8 after a break last week and James Lentjes retains the No 7 shirt while the physical Pari Pari Parkinson will again combine with Josh Dickson in the middle row.
Josh Ioane continues at flyhalf after a promising start to the competition and alongside him will be a new midfield combination of Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Patelesio Tomkinson, both players combine power with pace, and Richard Buckman will earn his first start of the season on the right wing.
Head coach Aaron Mauger is aware of the challenge the Hurricanes will pose.
"We are aware of the threats the Hurricanes present for us, our focus is on converting the opportunities we are creating into points," Mauger told the Highlanders' official website.
Tiatia, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben
Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara; 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis
Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff
To’omaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Chris Eves
16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ben May, 19 Isaia
Walker-Leawere, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson
Garden-Bachop, 23 Vince Aso
Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Sio Tomkinson, 12 Thomas
Umaga-Jensen, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke
Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Jackson Hemopo, 5 Pari Pari
Parkinson, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden
Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown,
18 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne
Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Waisake Naholo