Warren Gatland's son at pivot for Highlanders
Dunedin - Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has named his team for Friday’s Super Rugby clash against the Rebels in Melbourne.
Kick-off is at 10:45 (SA time).
The team to take on the Rebels is a mixture of experience and youth, and an excellent opportunity for some players who have worked hard for their chance to showcase their abilities.
"I am happy with the depth within our squad and the competition for positions is helping drive our preparation and performances each week,” Mauger told the Highlanders' official website.
Scrumhalf Folau Fakatava, hooker Ricky Jackson and prop Josh Iosefa-Scott are all set to make their Super Rugby debuts from the bench.
Bryn Gatland, son of Wales coach Warren, gets his first start at flyhalf, while Josh Ioane shows his versatility by covering fullback. Josh McKay gets his season underway on the left wing and Thomas Umaga-Jensen returns in the midfield after a week off.
Up front, Elliot Dixon, will start at No 8 (replacing Luke Whitelock), while Pari Pari Parkinson will start in the middle row with the experienced Jackson Hemopo. Ash Dixon will captain the team with both Luke Whitelock and Ben Smith being rested.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermain Ainsley, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Reece Hodge
15 Josh Ioane, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Josh McKay, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Pari Pari Parkinson, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Ricky Jackson, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Marino Mikaele Tu'u, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Patelesio Tomkinson, 23 Marty Banks