Highlanders rest All Black star for Lions clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has made minimal changes to his team for their Super Rugby Round 13 clash against the Lions in Dunedin on Saturday.
The starting XV has a settled look to it. However, scrumhalf Aaron Smith has been rested and his place will be taken by Kayne Hammington.
James Lentjes will play at No.7 with Dillon Hunt earning a break and Tevita Nabura will make his second appearance of the season on the left wing.
Josh Dickson and Marino Mikaele Tu’u will provide fresh legs off the bench.
"We are all looking forward to the opportunity to be back at home to meet the significant challenge the Lions will provide," said Mauger.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Sio Tomkinson.
Date: Saturday, May 12
Venue: Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)