Mauger unveils Highlanders team for Crusaders clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has made a few changes to his team to face the Crusaders in Dunedin on Saturday.
Teihorangi Walden comes in for Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Jack Whetton for Pari Pari Parkinson.
Shannon Frizell is in for the hard-working Jackson Hemopo and Tevita Li slips out of the matchday-23 while Waisake Naholo returns to his right-wing spot. Siate Tokolahi is restored to the bench which will have a six-two forwards/backs split.
Folau Fakatava and Marty Banks will cover the backs while openside flanks Dillon Hunt and James Lentjes are included in the same matchday-23 for the first time this season.
The high-flying Crusaders will arrive with a nineteen-match winning record intact. The last time they tasted defeat was in the corresponding fixture last year.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Sio Tomkinson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Richard Buckman, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Dillon Hunt, 22 Folau Fakatava, 23 Marty Banks.
Date: Saturday, March 16
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)