Fijian to wing it for Highlanders
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made two changes to the team to face the Southern Kings in the first match of their South African trip.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made two changes to the team to face the Southern Kings in their first match of their South African trip, in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Fijian-born Tino Nemani will make his Highlanders debut on the right wing, having played four games for the Chiefs last year.
Nemani takes the place of Phil Burleigh, who has not recovered from a knock to the shoulder - an injury he sustained in the win over the Sharks last week and forced him out of the squad that travelled to SA.
Mose Tuiali'i comes onto the bench, having recovered from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined over the last three weeks.
Impressive No.8 TJ Ioane has overcome a calf niggle and will start against the Kings, who sit one point and one place ahead of the last-placed Highlanders.
Several other players remain sidelined - Kade Poki (ribs - two weeks to his return), Ma'a Nonu (knee - two weeks), Buxton Popoalii (ankle - four week), Lima Sopoaga (ankle - four weeks) and Phil Burleigh (shoulder - two weeks).
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Mose Tuiali'i, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Fumiaka Tanaka, 21 Hayden Parker, 22 Jason Emery.
Date: Saturday, May 11
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 03.05 Sunday, May 12 NZ time)
Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Sindile Mayende (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)