Highlanders bench their All Blacks

Highlanders coach Greg Cooper has named an unchanged starting XV for his Super 14 encounter with the Bulls at Carisbrook, Dunedin, on Saturday – leaving his reconditioned All Blacks Anton Oliver and Carl Hayman on the bench.

The two veterans, who like all Graham Henry’s favoured World Cup stars, missed the first seven weeks while on the conditioning programme.

Oliver and Hayman will play their first Super 14 match of the season, but they will be making their return off the bench.

The Highlanders starting XV is unchanged from the side that beat the Reds 33-17 two weeks ago at Carisbrook.

Both Ezra Taylor and Aaron Bancroft have been rewarded with their second start of the season.

The only changes to the matchday 22 are on the bench, where Oliver comes in to replace hooker David Hall, while Hayman replaces prop Jamie Mackintosh.

Highlanders: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Lucky Mulipola, 13 Matthew Saunders, 12 Aaron Bancroft , 11 Viliame Waqaseduadua, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ezra Taylor, 7 Josh Blackie (c), 6 Craig Newby, 5 James Ryan, 4 Hoani MacDonald, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason MacDonald, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Anton Oliver, 17 Carl Hayman, 18 Kane Thompson, 19 Alando Soakai, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Callum Bruce, 22 James Wilson

Date: Saturday, 24 March
Venue: Carisbrook, Dunedin
Kick-off: 17.30 (05.30 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Touch judges: James Scholtens (Australia) Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Television match official: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assessor: Kim Eichmann (New Zealand), Dennis Immelman (South Africa)


365 Digital

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