VIDEO: Highlanders face Stormers without Dixon
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders have opted for a look of consistency, however an injury to co-captain Ash Dixon have forced the Dunedin side to tweak their starting XV for the Stormers on Friday.
The Highlanders got their Super Rugby campaign off to good start with a win over the Blues, which was followed by a bye week.
The Highlanders have made four changes from their season opener against the Blues.
The most significant one the absence of co-captain and hooker Dixon due to a back injury. The Maori All Black's absence has handed Liam Coltman a promotion from the bench to the starting XV, with Greg Pleasants-Tate as cover on the bench
The other change in the forwards is the acquisition of Tasman loose forward Shannon Frizell on the bench. He could be set to earn his first Super Rugby cap on Friday if takes to the field.
In the backline, powerful Fijian wing Tevita Nabura earns his first start on the left wing
While Josh Renton has been named as the replacement scrumhalf
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomaz, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.
Date: Friday, March 9
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (08.35 SA time; 06.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)