Highlanders ring changes for Rebels encounter
Cape Town - Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has made five changes to his starting XV ahead of their Super Rugby encounter with the Melbourne Rebels in Dunedin on Friday.
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In the forwards, Jack Whetton is promoted from the bench to take the place of the injured lock Josh Dickson, who left the field with a shoulder injury in the defeat against the Crusaders last week.
Daniel Lienert-Brown rotates with Ayden Johnstone in the front-row and Teariki Ben-Nicholas, after some impressive performances off the bench, gets his chance in the starting line-up on the blindside flank.
In the backs, Josh McKay secures the right-wing spot for this week while in the reserves there will be Highlanders debuts for Jeff Thwaites, Manaaki Selby-Rickit and Scott Gregory.
Mauger is excited about his team’s return to Forsyth Barr Stadium.
“It’s always good to be at home, the students are back in town and will no doubt bring a lot of colour and energy to the occasion on Friday night, our players will look to draw on that energy and get our game going under the roof,” he said.
15 Michael Collins, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Jesse Parete, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Dillon Hunt, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Teihorangi Walden, 23 Scott Gregory
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Tom English, 12 Bill
Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi
Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Gideon
Koegelenberg, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Cabous Eloff, 19 Ross
Haylett-Petty, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Frank Lomani, 22 Michael Wells, 23