Joseph shuffles Highlanders' pack

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:12

Jamie Joseph has made three changes to the side to face the table-topping Sharks in a Super Rugby Round 11 game in Durban on Friday.

In the forwards Jarrad Hoeata replaces Brad Thorn in the second row, after Thorn suffered a season-ending bicep injury during their last game - a win over the Bulls in Dunedin a fortnight ago.

Nasi Manu returns from the replacement bench to start at No.8 - with Elliot Dixon moving to the blindside flank and with Gareth Evans dropping down to the bench.

Manu will also share the captaincy with fullback Ben Smith again.

Josh Bekhuis earns a promotion to the replacement, following the injury to Thorn.

The backline remains unchanged from the win over the Bulls.

The Highlanders have opted to nominate only two backs on the bench, with Trent Renata and Fumiaki Tanaka covering for the backline.

The Highlanders, who had a bye last week, will also take on the Stormers on their two-match tour of South Africa.

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

Date: Friday, April 25
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT; 05.10, Saturday, April 26, NZ time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)