Highlanders get their Thorn back

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 08:50
Large brad thorn highlanders look

The return of uncompromising All Black lock Brad Thorn has boosted the Highlanders ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes.

The return of uncompromising All Black lock Brad Thorn has boosted the Highlanders ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes in Dunedin.

Thorn is back from a rib injury to start at lock in place of fellow All Black Jarrad Hoeata.

However, John Hardie has paid the price for the Highlanders loss' to the Western Force last week.

The Southland flank has been left out of the squad for Friday's outing.

Elliott Dixon will take his place at blindside flank.

Prop Ma'afu Fia and inside centre Phil Burleigh have been named to make their first starts of the season, replacing Chris King and Shaun Treeby - who drop to the bench.

Patrick Osbourne is also back from a high ankle sprain to start on the left wing.

The Highlanders narrowly lost to the Western Force last Saturday and have a short six day turn around before facing a buoyant Hurricanes side coming off a massive win against the Cheetahs in Wellington.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Chris King, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Shaun Treeby.

Date: Friday, March 21
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Watt (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19