Backline stars return for Highlanders
February 11, 2014
Aaron Smith was rested for the Highlanders' trial against the Crusaders © Getty Images
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has named his starting XV to play the New South Wales Waratahs at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, on Friday, February 14.
The Highlanders will be looking to show more of the form they displayed in the second half of their 28-15 loss to the Crusaders in Motueka last Friday.
All Blacks Aaron Smith and Ben Smith will return to their starting positions after being rested, while Shane Christie comes back after injury to take his place at No 8 in his first start for the Highlanders. Lima Sopoaga starts at fly-half while Kane Hames and Ged Robinson take their places in the front row.
Buxton Popoalii has withdrawn from the 2014 Super Rugby season and will be receiving surgery in the next couple of weeks for a long-standing heart condition. A replacement player has not yet been called into the squad.
The Highlanders play their first match of the Super Rugby season against the Blues in Dunedin at on Saturday February 22.
Highlanders: Ben Smith (captain); Patrick Osborne, Malakai Fekitoa, Shaun Treeby, Kurt Baker; Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Shane Christie, John Hardie, Gareth Evans; Josh Bekhuis, Jarrad Hoeata; Chris King, Ged Robinson, Kane Hames. Replacements: Brayden Mitchell, Matias Diaz, Craig Millar, Joe Wheeler, Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Lee Allan, Frae Wilson, Hayden Parker, Phil Burleigh, Winston Stanley and Richard Buckman.
Injury Update: Nasi Manu (pectoral: 1 week), TJ Ioane (AC sprain: 1 week), Elliot Dixon (hamstring: 1-2 weeks), Liam Coltman (rib: 1 week).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Communication error please reload the page.
Max Verstappen says his only focus ahead of his debut F1 appearance in Japan is the experience he can gain rather than the records he will break
A typhoon over the Pacific Ocean has the potential to turn Sunday's grand prix into a washout if its path continues towards Japan on Sunday
Luke Shaw has been left out of Roy Hodgson's England squad with the Manchester United left-back dropping down to the Under-21s
Roy Hodgson has left Daniel Sturridge out of his England squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia
Liverpool forward Suso has revealed that he needs a groin operation that will keep him out for around two months