Highlanders bring their All Blacks back for Chiefs

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph has included all three of his All Blacks as well as Patrick Osborne in the team to take on Super Ruby champions the Chiefs in Dunedin on Friday.

Joseph has named Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Malakai Fekitoa in the team along with Osborne, who joined the All Black’s squad as injury cover

The Highlanders coach has also bolstered the team with Both Brayden Mitchell and Tom Franklin who have played their way into the starting line up after stellar performances in Invercargill against the Barbarians.

Lee Allen comes onto the bench to cover for TJ Ioane who picked up an ankle injury during training this week.

A win is imperative for the Highlanders over the eighth placed Chiefs to enhance their play-off prospects and a good crowd is expected at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow to welcome Super Rugby back after the June test window.

Highlanders

1 . Kane Hames , 2 . Brayden Mitchell , 3 . Ma’afu Fia , 4 . Tom Franklin , 5 . Joe Wheeler , 6 . Elliot Dixon , 7 . Shane Christie , 8 . Nasi Manu (co.captain) , 9 . Aaron Smith , 10 . Lima Sopoaga , 11 . Patrick Osborne , 12 . Shaun Treeby , 13 . Malakai Fekitoa , 14 . Richard Buckman , 15 . Ben Smith (co.captain)

Replacements : 16 . Ged Robinson , 17 . Matias Diaz , 18 . Chris King , 19 . Josh Bekhuis , 20 . Lee Allan , 21 . Fumiaki Tanaka , 22 . Hayden Parker , 23 . Phil Burleigh

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