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Stanley on debut for Highlanders

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 07:37
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Wheeler comes into squad for Thorn
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Highlanders’ head coach Jamie Joseph has handed Winston Stanley his debut as one of three changes to his starting team to play the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday. 
 
A reshuffle in the backline to account for the injury to wing Patrick Osborne sees last week's outside centre Malakai Fekitoa move to the left wing and Winston Stanley come into the squad to take his place outside centre. 
 
This will be Stanley’s debut for the Highlanders after previously playing for the Force and the Blues in Super Rugby. 
 
With Brad Thorn unavailable for three to four weeks due to a rib injury, Jarrad Hoeata moves shifts across the scrum into the number four jersey and Joe Wheeler comes into the matchday squad to start alongside him at lock. 
 
Wheeler returns from an injury lay-off after he recovered from a compound fracture in his finger. 
 
Openside flank John Hardie comes into the starting line-up ahead of Shane Christie who drops to the bench, replacing TJ Ioane who loses his place in the 23-man squad. 
 
Brayden Mitchell takes Ged Robinson as the replacement hooker, with Trent Renata comes onto the bench as well displacing Hayden Parker.  
 
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Malakai Fekitoa, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 John Hardie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Craig Millar, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Shane Christie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Phil Burleigh.
 
Date: Saturday, March 1
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson, (New Zealand) Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
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