Highlanders make six changes for Hurricanes

Fumiaki Tanaka returns for a fourth Super Rugby season

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made six changes to the team that beat the Chiefs for this week’s match against the Hurricanes.

As expected Joseph has rested his All Black trio of Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and and Malakai Fekitoa.

This week’s team will feature a new captain, vice-captain and have five players running out onto their home field.

Ash Dixon earns a start and the captaincy while new father Elliot Dixon returns to number eight and Gareth Evans to the blindside.

Fumiaki Tanaka, Jason Emery and Marty Banks replace the rested All Blacks in the starting team.

Meanwhile Ash Dixon, Brendon Edmonds, Gareth Evans, Richard Buckman and Ryan Tongia should feel right at home at McLean Park as they all play for the ITM Cup team and current Ranfurly Shield holders, Hawkes Bay Magpies.

On the bench Stags halfback, Scott Eade, could be set for his Highlanders debut while Kurt Baker makes his second appearance in the playing 23 for 2015 after coming on against the Reds in round 3.

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Ash Dixon ( C ) , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Tom Franklin , 6. Gareth Evans , 7. John Hardie , 8. Elliot Dixon , 9. Fumiaki Tanaka , 10. Lima Sopoaga (VC) , 11. Ryan Tongia , 12. Richard Buckman , 13. Jason Emery , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Marty Banks

Replacements : 16. Liam Coltman , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Joe Latta , 20. Dan Pryor , 21. Scott Eade , 22. Shaun Treeby , 23. Kurt Baker ,

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