Highlanders' new No.10 after Sopoaga
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Highlanders will take on the Waratahs in their first pre-season fixture at the Central Otago with a few new faces.
They will take on the NSW Waratahs in their annual preseason fixture at Molyneux Park Stadium. The whole squad will be in attendance at the game however the All Blacks will not be involved in the match.
Luke Whitelock will captain the side from No.8.
However, there will be a massive spotlight on Josh Ioane who starts at flyhalf against the Waratahs.
This could be the perfect opportunity for 23-year-old Ioane to earn the No.10 jersey left vacant by longtime Highlander and All Black Lima Sopoaga.
The other flyhalf options for the Highlanders this season the likes Bryn Gatland and veteran Marty Banks.
Gatland will feature from the bench once the squad rotates.
The game will be played in three 30 minute periods and will be an ideal opportunity for both teams with the competition proper starting in just two weeks’ time.
Highlanders: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Luke Whitelock (captain), 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone
Replacements: Ray Niuia, Sef Fa’agase, Tyrel Lomax , Jackson Hemopo, James Lentjes, Ash Dixon, Joe Apikotoa, Jack Whetton, Ethan De Groot, Manaaki Selby-Rickett, Ricky Jackson, Kayne Hammington, Bryn Gatland, Tevita Nabura, Marty Banks, Teihorangi Walden, Sio Tomkinson, Josh Timu.
Date: Friday, February 1
Venue: Central Otago, New Zealand
Kick-off: 18.30 (05.00 GMT, 16.30 Australia Time)