Highlanders keep the faith for clash with Lions

Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph has retained the starting Super Rugby team that beat the Sharks for this weekend’s match in Johannesburg against the Lions.

While the starting team remains the same Joseph has made changes on the replacements bench with players returning from injury.

Having recovered from a broken thumb South African prop Ross Geldenhuys takes his place on the bench, replacing Pingi Tala’apitaga.

John Hardie also returns from injury for his fourth match of the 2015 competition.

Both Hardie and Geldenhuys last played for the Highlanders in the fifth round clash against the Waratahs.

Joe Latta drops out of the playing 23 with Elliot Dixon expected to cover lock.

Shane Christie (hamstring) Hayden Parker (shoulder) and Joe Wheeler (knee) were all unavailable for selection due to injury.

Highlanders

1. Kane Hames , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Tom Franklin , 5. Mark Reddish , 6. Gareth Evans , 7. Dan Pryor , 8. Nasi Manu (c) , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Richard Buckman , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (c)

Replacements :16. Ash Dixon , 17. Brendon Edmonds , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Elliot Dixon , 20. John Hardie , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Marty Banks , 23. Jason Emery

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