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, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
Mon, 03 April 2017
Maties v UJ 14h30 Stellenbosch
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 17h00 Pretoria
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 4 4 0 0 17
Cheetahs 5 2 0 3 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Jaguares 5 4 0 1 18
Sharks 5 4 0 1 17
Kings 5 1 0 4 5