Buckman returns for Highlanders to face Blues

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has freshened up his forward pack for this week’s clash with the Blues in Dunedin and Richard Buckman returning through the bench.

Ash Dixon and Liam Coltman rotate, with Coltman in the starting XV after two games off the bench.

Mark Reddish earns his third start for the season with Tom Franklin , moved to the bench.

Brendon Edmonds makes way for Kane Hames who returns to the starting team following five weeks on suspension , and a few rounds of club rugby.

Jason Emery will start at second-five ahead of Shaun Treeby who takes a break and Richard Buckman is included in the 23 for the first time after being injured in the preseason.

Shane Christie (hamstring),Ross Geldenhuys (Thumb),Daniel Lienert-Brown (Knee) , John Hardie (ankle)Hayden Parker (Shoulder)Alex Ainley (Jaw) were all unavailable for selection.


1. Kane Hames , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Mark Reddish , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. James Lentjes , 8. Nasi Manu ( c ) , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Jason Emery , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith ( c )

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Brendon Edmonds , 18. Pingi Tala’apitaga , 19. Tom Franklin , 20. Dan Pryor , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Marty Banks , 23. Richard Buckman

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