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)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19