Reds get Higginbotham back
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Reds have made three personnel changes to the starting XV which lost to the Sunwolves last weekend and a further three to the reserves for their Super Rugby Round 14 clash against the Hurricanes.
In the forwards, Higginbotham's return from a calf injury sees him resume his role as starting No.8, with Angus Scott-Young shifting to blindside flank and Adam Korczyk dropping out of the matchday 23.
Jean-Pierre Smith has also been named at starting loosehead prop. James Slipper was not considered for selection for welfare reasons.
In the backs, Duncan Paia’aua has been promoted to the starting side, after Chris Feauai-Sautia failed to recover from a concussion suffered against the Sunwolves. Paia’aua has been named at inside centre, with Kerevi shifting to outside centre.
On the bench, the Reds have made changes to the reserve front row, with hooker Andrew Ready earning selection for the first time since Round Five and Ruan Smith returning, after not being considered for selection last week. Alex Mafi and Harry Hoopert have dropped out of the 23.
Outside back Izaia Perese has also returned to the reserves, named in the place made available by Paia'aua's promotion.
Reds: 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Izaia Perese, 23 Aidan Toua.
Date: Friday, May 18
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 AEST; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)