Super Rugby: Minimal change for Highlanders side to take on Stormers

  • 07/03/2018

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has opted for consistency in naming his team for Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Stormers in Dunedin.

With the Highlanders coming off a bye, Mauger has made four changes to the team which beat the Blues 41-34 in round one.

Co-captain Ash Dixon will miss the game with a back injury and will be replaced by Greg Pleasants-Tate, while in the backs, powerful Fijian winger Tevita Nabura earns a spot on the left wing.

Dixon joins Thomas Umaga-Jensen (shoulder), James Lentjes (shoulder) and Richard Buckman (neck) on the Highlanders injury roster.

The other two changes for Friday come in the reserves, with Tasman loosie Shannon Frizzell and halfback Josh Renton set to make their Highlanders debuts from the bench.

Mauger is expecting a tough game from the Stormers, who are coming off a 45-28 loss to the Crusaders last week.

"The Stormers are a big side so we expect a physical encounter," he said.

"They are also a dangerous team with ball in hand in open spaces, so we are well aware of those threats and have prepared to meet those challenges."

Highlanders: Ben Smith (captain), Waisake Naholo, Rob Thompson, Teihorangi Walden, Tevita Nabura, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Luke Whitelock, Dillon Hunt, Liam Squire, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Reserves: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Aki Seiuli, Tyrel Lomax, Shannon Frizell, Elliot Dixon, Josh Renton, Fletcher Smith, Matt Faddes.