Joseph tweaks pack for Ellis Park semi
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made a few changes to his starting forward for their Super Rugby semifinal against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Joseph has brought in loose forward James Lentjes for Shane Christie and lock Alex Ainley replaces Luke Whitelock who moves to No.8.
The starting backline from the quarterfinal win against the Brumbies remains intact with the talented back three of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne likely to see a lot of ball during the match.
The Highlanders will employ a six forward, two back bench for this week, with hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate, prop Ross Geldenhuys and lock Joe Wheeler added to the squad.
In the backs the versatile Marty Banks makes his return from injury to take his place on the bench.
The game will be the Highlanders' first daytime match of the season.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Marty Banks.
Date: Saturday, July 30
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 01.00 Sunday July 31 NZ Time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben O´Keeffe (New Zealand), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)