Smith to win 100th Highlanders cap against Force

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made a couple of changes to his Super Rugby team for this weekend’s match against the Western Force.

The Highlanders will be hoping to end a six match losing streak to the Force this week and have retained most of the team that scored four tries in 25 minutes against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.

Both Waisake Naholo and Shaun Treeby return from injury to the starting team with Naholo back on the wing and Treeby coming into the second-five position.

Utility back, Richard Buckman, moves to cover on the bench and the forward/back split returns to the standard 5:3.

Elliot Dixon is unavailable for selection this week returning back to New Zealand for the birth of his first child pending.

This will be the third game on the road for the Highlanders as they look to firm up their position heading into the final rounds of the 2015 Super Rugby competition.

After playing the Force the team then heads home to play the Chiefs in Invercargill on Saturday 30th May in what is shaping up as an exciting encounter with the teams currently on even points.

Co-Captain, Ben Smith, will achieve a Super Rugby century when he takes the field on Saturday night and becomes only the fourth Highlander to rack up 100 games all wearing the Highlanders jersey.

Loose forward, and Highlanders stalwart, John Hardie will also achieve a milestone on Saturday playing his 50th Super Rugby game for the Highlanders.

Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee) were all unavailable for selection.


1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Mark Reddish , 6. Gareth Evans , 7. John Hardie , 8. Nasi Manu (Co-C) , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Shaun Treeby , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (Co-C)

Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Tom Franklin , 20. Dan Pryor , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Richard Buckman , 23. Marty Banks

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