Thorn to lead embattled Highlanders

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:56
Large brad thorn highlanders look Large chris king highlanders Large brad thorn highlanders h s Large brad thorn highlanders char Large jamie joseph highlanders 63

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has turned to veteran All Black Brad Thorn for inspiration.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has turned to veteran All Black Brad Thorn for inspiration as the men from Dunedin attempt to break their losing start to the season.

With zero wins from three starts and rooted at the bottom of the table, the 38-year-old Thorn will captain the team in the absence of injured hooker Andrew Hore.

The Highlanders will look to break their duck against the defending champion Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

The game will mark the 100th Super Rugby appearance of Highlanders stalwart Chris King. It will be his 84th game for the Highlanders, having made 16 appearances for the Crusaders in 2003 and 2004.

King made his debut for the Highlanders in 2005 and will join a small and illustrious group of centurions, with only Anton Oliver (127 games) and Jimmy Cowan (108 games) also  to reach 100 games while playing for the southern franchise.

The Highlanders coach, Joseph, praised King for his achievement, which he said is testament to his attitude and professionalism; both on and off the field.

"Chris has a very professional approach to his rugby," Joseph said.

"He trains hard, has great technique and gives his all for 80 minutes while on the park.

"He's been a great leader both on and off the field, and these attributes have made him a player who has been selected week in and week out for our team."

King has his second start for the season, and third appearance.

Three changes have been made to the run-on XV that lost a heartbreaker to the Hurricanes in Dunedin last Friday.

In the forwards Liam Coltman makes his first start for the Highlanders, with both Andrew Hore and Brayden Mitchell on the injury list.

Josh Bekhuis returns to lock and Jarrad Hoeata moves to blindside flank and Joe Wheeler moves to the bench.

In the backs Ma'a Nonu returns to inside centre, while Phil Burleigh will provide impact from the bench.

Jason Rutledge returns to the Highlanders as injury cover for Hore and Mitchell. Frae Wilson also joins the Highlanders' reserves for the first time.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn (captain), 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Joe Wheeler, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Frae Wilson, 21 Lima Sopoaga, 22 Phil Burleigh.

Date: Friday, March 22
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Griquas vs Blue Bulls
sast: 19h30 | local: 19h30

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
Fri, 28 July 2017
Lions v Hurricanes 22h00 Ellis Park
Golden Lions v Griquas 17h00 Johannesburg
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 22h00 Christchurch
Sharks v Pumas 12h30 Durban
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 22 July 2017
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
Highlanders v Reds 40 | 17
Sat, 08 July 2017
Stormers v Sunwolves 52 | 15
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28