Fullback Smith back for Highlanders

Thu, 25 May 2017 05:13
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ben Smith, co-captain of the Highlanders, returns after a three-week break for injury to play his record equalling 127th game for the Highlanders against the Waratahs. 

Smith stands beside former Highlanders captain Anton Oliver as the team's most capped player. Also returning from injury is No.8 Luke Whitelock meaning a shift for Elliot Dixon to the blindside while Aki Seiuli and Siate Tokolahi retain the starting spots in the front row.

Waisake Naholo returns on the right wing, replacing Patrick Osborne, after serving his one-game suspension last week. The bench has an experienced look to it with regular starters Ash Dixon, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Joe Wheeler, Lima Sopoaga and Rob Thompson all included.

Head coach Tony Brown is delighted to be back home after three weeks on the road.

"It's always good to be home under the roof in front of our home fans, especially after being away for so long. I know the players are all really looking forward to the challenge against a Waratahs side that includes so many Wallaby players, it should be a good contest," said Brown.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Rob Thompson.

Date: Saturday, May 27
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 AEST; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

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sast: 17h00 | local: 17h00

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
Fri, 28 July 2017
Golden Lions v Griquas 17h00 Johannesburg
Sat, 29 July 2017
Sharks v Pumas 12h30 Durban
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 22 July 2017
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
Highlanders v Reds 40 | 17
Sat, 08 July 2017
Stormers v Sunwolves 52 | 15
Bulls v Kings 30 | 31
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