Whitelock blow for Highlanders as Stormers await

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:02
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SUPER RUGBY TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Highlanders will be without two key forwards when they take on the Stormers in Dunedin on Friday.

Star loose forwards Elliot Dixon and Luke Whitelock have both been sidelined with injuries ahead of this Round 10 encounter.

Dixon remains unavailable this week, after being hospitalised with a leg infection.

He was joined on the sideline by Whitelock, who has been displaying concussion symptoms since the 40-15 win over the Sunwolves last week.

He will be rested until he is cleared.

Dixon was set to start on the openside flank for the Highlanders against the Sunwolves in Invercargill last Saturday.

However, he woke up in a lot of pain overnight on the Thursday and ended up being taken to the hospital.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown said the target was to have Dixon available for their trip to South Africa.

"He woke up with an infection in his leg," Brown said.

"We are just trying to get that under control.

"He will be on antibiotics all week and hopefully we can get him right to get on the plane to South Africa."

* Meanwhile Siosuia Halanukonuka, Tom Franklin and Gareth Evans return to the starting line-up.

Joe Wheeler is joined by Jackson Hemopo on the bench, giving the Highlanders plenty of size to match the always physical South Africans.

Rob Thompson returns to the midfield in place of an injured Richard Buckman and Patrick Osborne will return on the left wing to play his 50th Super rugby game for the Highlanders.

There is plenty of firepower to come off the bench with exciting Otago backs Fletcher Smith and Matt Faddes.

Apart from Whitelock and Dixon, other players not available due to injury include Shane Christie, James Lentjes, Dan Pryor, Lima Sopoaga and Richard Buckman.

Jason Emery and Hayden Parker are sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Date: Friday, April 28
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28