Thorn to make his debut
Veteran All Black Andre Hore return from suspension to lead the Highlanders in their Super Rugby encounter with the Cheetahs at Rugby Park in Invercargill on Saturday.
Hore returns after missing the Highlanders' first match of the season, a loss to the Chiefs, due to the suspension imposed on him after his attack on Welsh lock Bradley Davies in November last year.
He will be joined by Highlanders debutants Brad Thorn and Jake Paringatai, who both make their first start on Saturday for the Southern franchise.
Changes in the run-on XV also see a number of changes on the reserves bench.
Brayden Mitchell and Jarrod Hoeata drop out of the starting XV and are joined by Chris King and Colin Slade; who are both returning from injuries. Shaun Treeby also joins the reserves in place of Buxton Popoalii.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Jake Paringatai, 7 John Hardie, 6 Joe Wheeler, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Chris King, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Shaun Treeby.
Date: Saturday, March 9
Venue: Rugby Park, Invercargill
Kick-Off: 19.35 (08.35 SA time; 06.35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)