Highlanders make ten changes for Blues

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made ten positional and personnel changes to the team that lost to the Hurricanes for this week’s final round match against the Blues in Auckland.

The front row is completely changed and features Daniel Lienert-Brown in his first run on game for the season, Joe Latta will also have his first game in the starting fifteen.

In the back row Elliot Dixon moves to blindside, Dan Pryor returns at number eight and Gareth Evans moves to the bench.

Young Otago lock Jackson Hemopo comes into the 23 for the injured Tom Franklin in what will be his debut for the Highlanders.

In the backs Shaun Treeby will play his 50th game for the franchise he will partner the versatile Richard Buckman in the centres as Malakai Fekitoa has a groin injury that will sideline him for this week.

All Blacks Ben and Aaron Smith return as does form winger Patrick Osborne reuniting the lethal back three of Naholo, Smith and Osborne.

Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee), Mark Reddish (hand), Nasi Manu (shoulder) and Malakai Fekitoa(groin) were all unavailable for selection due to injury.


1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Joe Latta , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. John Hardie , 8. Dan Pryor , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Shaun Treeby , 13. Richard Buckman , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith ( c )

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Brendon Edmonds , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Jackson Hemopo , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Marty Banks , 23. Kurt Baker ,

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