Smith to make history in Christchurch

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 04:58
Large ben smith highlanders hands off 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders take on the unbeaten Crusaders on Saturday off the back of nine consecutive wins, for virtually the first time this season they will be picking from almost their full squad. 

Head coach Tony Brown has reinstated Daniel Lienert-Brown to the front row and promoted Gareth Evans to the starting line-up after a number of good performances in recent weeks. 

James Lentjes comes back on the openside following an elbow injury that sidelined him for three months, taking the place of Dillon Hunt who gets a well-earned break.

The well performed Rob Thompson comes in at inside centre this week pushing utility back Richard Buckman to the left wing; otherwise, the starting backline remains the same as the one that performed well against the Waratahs. Plenty of strike power on the bench with All Blacks Elliot Dixon and Lima Sopoaga and Matt Faddes returns as outside back cover.

Captain Ben Smith will play his 128th Super game for the Highlanders and become its most capped player ahead of Anton Oliver.

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

Date: Saturday, June 3
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 14.35 (02.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Michael Winter (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4