Big guns return for Highlanders
Cape Town - The Highlanders have been boosted by the return of lock Jackson Hemopo and flank Dillon Hunt for their Super Rugby clash with the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The return of Hemopo and Hunt to the pack, Sio Tomkinson's selection in the midfield and Aaron Smith back at scrumhalf are the main features of the Highlanders team to take on the Waratahs on Saturday.
Hemopo replaces veteran lock Alex Ainley and the hard-working Hunt returns for James Lentjes.
In the backline, Smith takes the place of Kayne Hammington, and Tevita Li is back from injury and will take a spot on the bench.
Tomkinson gets his first starting opportunity in the midfield with Teihorangi Walden sitting the game out after experiencing concussion symptoms during the week.
A former NZ under-20 player, Tomkinson, is a hard-hitting young midfielder from Otago who has had limited opportunities since joining the Dunedin-based team last season.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Bryce Hegarty
15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Tevita Li