Returning All Blacks Strengthen Highlanders
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has named his team to take on the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
In the pack, Shannon Frizell returns from his All Blacks’ break to take his place at No.8.
Elliot Dixon gets a well-earned break and Dillon Hunt completes a new-look backrow with James Lentjes heading to the bench.
Josh Dickson and Tom Franklin will lock the scrum and Tyrel Lomax replaces Siate Tokolahi at tighthead.
In the backs, All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo, returns from a lengthy injury break and will ease into the action off the bench.
Teihorangi Walden will partner with Rob Thompson in the midfield and Patelesio Tomkinson will move to the wing to cover for the injured Tevita Li. Daniel Hollinshead will again cover the pivot position.
Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Patelesio Tomkinson, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Shannon Frizell, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Luke Whitelock (captain), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Daniel Hollinshead, 23 Waisake Naholo.
Date: Saturday, May 18
Venue: Ellis Park Stadium, Johannedburg
Kick-off: 15.05 (13.05 GMT; 01.05 Sunday, May 19 NZ time)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)