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    Mauger unveils Highlanders team for Blues clash

    2018-02-21 11:21

    Cape Town - Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has made just one change to his team for their 2018 Super Rugby season opener against the Blues from the team that played the Crusaders in a warm-up fixture last Thursday.

    Inside centre Teihorangi Walden earns a start, while versatile outside back Matt Faddes moves to the replacements.

    Loose forwards Dan Pryor and Elliot Dixon have both been included on the bench, while prop Tyrel Lomax will make his debut for the Highlanders if he takes the field.

    Mauger is looking forward to the encounter.

    "For us this game is an opportunity for the players to put a performance on the park, throughout the preseason we have had a real focus on producing a performance that we and our supporters can be proud of. It’s great we have the opening match at our home ground for the Gordon Hunter trophy; it gives us a really good opportunity to connect with our people,” Mauger said.

    The match will be played for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy which is currently held by the Highlanders.

    Gordon Hunter coached both the Highlanders and the Blues.

    The trophy has been played for 16 times since 2002 with both teams having won eight games.

    Kick-off on Friday is at 08:35 SA time.

    Teams:

    Highlanders

    15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

    Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Dan Pryor, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes

    Blues

    15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Augustine Pulu (captain), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Murphy Taramai, 6 Glenn Preston, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman

    Substitutes: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Michael Tamoaieta, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sione Havili/Antonio Kiri Kiri, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 23 Melani Nanai

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    Friday, 25 May 2018
    • Crusaders v Hurricanes, AMI Stadium 09:35
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