Highlanders add Hoeta to the pack
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 08:49
Ged Robinson to start at hooker
Jarrad Hoeata will start at lock as one of three changes made to the Highlanders team to play the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.
Hoeata, who came off the replacements bench to receive a yellow card against the Hurricanes last week, gets a chance to redeem himself as he takes the place of Joe Wheeler to partner Brad Thorn in the second row.
The other changes are also in the forwards as Highlanders head coach Joseph looks to keep his pack fresh heading into their fifth game of the season
Ged Robinson will get his first start of the season at hooker. He replaces Liam Coltman who drops to the bench.
Tighthead prop Chris King comes back into the starting lineup after sitting on the replacements bench last week and takes the place of Ma'afu Fia.
Craig Millar comes onto the bench and Argentine prop Matias Diaz drops out of the matchday 23.
The backline remains unchanged from last week.
The Highlanders come into the game off the back of a 35-31 win over the Hurricanes in Dunedin last week and are looking for back-toback wins for the first time this season.
The men from Dunedin will be keen to secure their first win on the road in their 2014 Super Rugby Campaign, especially after having already beaten the Blues this season - when they triumphed 29-21 at the Forsyth Barr stadium in in their opening round fixture.
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 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Shaun Treeby.
Date: Saturday, March 29
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
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