Highlanders name team for Crusaders derby
Dunedin - Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has named his team to face the Crusaders in a Super Rugby derby at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
Mauger has largely stuck with the side that lost 25-22 to the Hurricanes in Wellington last week with changes made for the two players that left the field with concussion injuries - inside centre Teihorangi Walden comes in for Thomas Umaga-Jensen and lock Jack Whetton for Pari Pari Parkinson.
Flank Shannon Frizell comes in for the hard-working Jackson Hemopo and Tevita Li slips out of the matchday 23, while Waisake Naholo returns to his right wing spot.
Prop Siate Tokolahi is restored to the bench which will have a 6:2 forwards/backs split. Folau Fakatava and Marty Banks will cover the backs, while openside flankers Dillon Hunt and James Lentjes are included in the same 23 for the first time this season.
The high-flying Crusaders will arrive with a 19-match winning record intact. The last time they tasted defeat was in the corresponding fixture last year and if history is any guide, then expectations are justifiably high for an exciting match with not too many points separating the two teams.
Kick-off is at 08:35 (SA time) on Saturday.
Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Sio Tomkinson, 12
Teihorangi Walden, 11 Richard Buckman, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8
Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5
Jack Whetton, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1
16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Tom
Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Dillon Hunt, 22 Folau Fakatava, 23 Marty
David Havili, 14 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11
George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7
Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett,
3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower
16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten
Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Ere Enari, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Will Jordan