Highlanders rush Tuiali'i back

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 06:55
Large mose tuiali i crusaders Large jamie mackintosh Large jamie joseph 630

The winless Highlanders have made two changes for Friday's Super Rugby match against the Blues.

The winless Highlanders have made two changes for Friday's Super Rugby match against the Blues, with new signing Mose Tuiali'i rushed back into the starting XV.

Tuiali'i, who was whistled in over Easter as injury cover for Nasi Manu, will also start at No.8 - with Elliot Dixon returning to the reserves.

Veteran prop Jamie MacKintosh makes his first start for the season, replacing Tony Woodcock - who has suffered a hamstring strain.

Coach Jamie Joseph said he named Tuiali'i in the starting XV ahead of local players because he had been playing well in Japan.

"It's nice to have his services," Joseph said.

"We have seen tapes of how he has been playing over there, albeit against the calibre of opposition, but he has been playing very well.

"You only have to look at the Brumbies and George Smith, who has been there [Japan] for three years and he looks like he has not lost a gallop."

Joseph said local players had always had a look-in to gain selection and that had never changed.

He was impressed with the performance of Otago loose forward TJ Ioane last week, showing he could do the job at this level.

Joseph said he remains optimistic the Highlanders can turn their season around.

"We've taken all teams to the wire except the Cheetahs," he said.

"I thought we under-performed last week against Queensland, particularly on defence.

"You look at the Blues and us and why shouldn't we have self-belief? We've just got to put together a total performance."

The Highlanders still have an extended injury list.

Tamati Ellison (shoulder) is still two months away from a return, Kade Poki (ribs - one week from a return), Shaun Treeby (hamstring - two to three weeks) and Woodcock (hamstring - one week).

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Buxton Popoalii, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 TJ Ioane, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Lima Sopoaga, 22 Phil Burleigh.

Date: Friday, April 5
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14