It's Thorn versus Matfield

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:13
Large brad thorn highlanders Large victor matfield bulls gestu Large brad thorn b w Large victor matfield bulls trai2 Large brad thorn points

There will be a 39-year-old facing off against a 36-year-old in Dunedin on Friday and it is not in an old-crocks club game.

There will be a 39-year-old facing off against a 36-year-old in Dunedin on Friday.

No, it is not in an old-crocks club game, but a high-charged Super Rugby encounter - when two of the most respected locks, both World Cup winners, go head-to-head.

The return of double international Brad Thorn to the Highlanders team to face the Bulls in a Round Nine encounter at the Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday means he will face Victor Matfield for the first time since 2011 - when they played against each other in the Rugby Championship.

Thorn returns to the starting line-up for what is shaping up to be an exciting clash of the locking titans.

Matfield is a former Springbok captain with a record 110 Test caps to his name and is a player and mentor in the Bulls environment.

Thorn, who also represented Australia at Rugby League, played 60 Tests for the All Blacks. He is one of the most successful Rugby Union players and was the first player to win a World Cup, a Super Rugby title and the European Cup.

Both are known as hard men of the game and will be out to prove they are as good as any of the younger players on the field.

* After a close win against the Rebels in the previous round the Highlanders have made few changes to the starting line-up in an effort to secure a win at home.

Kane Hames returns from a one-week suspension and moves back into the loosehead prop position.

Thorn moves into the second row, while Jarrad Hoeata goes to the bench.

Elliot Dixon will start in the No.8 jersey, with co-captain Nasi Manu dropped to the replacement bench.

Also joining the reserves this week is John Hardie.

Patrick Osborne comes back on to the wing, with Kurt Baker sidelined for six weeks after a spear tackle in the Rebels game.

The remainder of the backline stays unchanged for this last home game before the team heads to South Africa to play the Sharks and the Stormers.

Those unavailable due to injury are Phil Burleigh (shoulder, one week till his return) and TJ Ioane (calf, two weeks).

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 John Hardie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Nasi Manu.

Date: Friday, April 11
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT; 09.35 SAST)
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand),Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14