Joseph drops his captain again
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has changed up his team again, for their penultimate game of the Super Rugby season.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has changed up his team again, for their penultimate game of the Super Rugby season - against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
Joseph made three changes to the starting XV that lost to the Crusaders last week in Dunedin.
In the forwards Liam Coltman starts at hooker and All Black Andrew Hore drops to the replacement bench - not for the first time this season the coach had axed his under-performing captain.
Veteran All Black Brad Thorn will captain the side.
TJ Ioane will start at blindside flank.
In the backline scrumhalf Aaron Smith returns to the starting line-up, with Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka moving to the reserves.
In the reserves Joe Wheeler, Hayden Parker and Buxton Popoalii come back into the matchday 22.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Shaun Treeby, 12 Tamati Ellison, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 Elliot Dixon, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn (captain), 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Jake Paringatai, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Hayden Parker, 22 Buxton Popoalii.
Date: Saturday, July 6
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)