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    Highlanders welcome back All Blacks star

    2019-06-19 10:06

    Cape Town - Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has named his team for Friday's Super Rugby quarter-final against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

    Mauger has made only two personnel changes from the team that beat the Waratahs 49-12 in Dunedin last week.

    Tevita Li makes way for Patelesio Tomkinson on the left wing and All Blacks star Ben Smith returns to fullback after a lengthy injury break to take his place at fullback.

    Smith, the Highlanders' most capped player, has been working hard to get back on the field over the last six weeks and his timely return will be boost for the men from Otago.  

    Elsewhere, Daniel Lienert-Brown rotates with Ayden Johnstone in the front row and the 6/2 forward /back split is maintained on the bench.

    Kick-off for Friday’s clash is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).

    Teams:

    Crusaders

    15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

    Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor

    Highlanders

    15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Sio Tomkinson, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 1 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Elliot Dixon

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