Super Rugby 2019: Highlanders ring changes against Reds

Aaron Smith in action for the Highlanders
Aaron Smith in action for the Highlanders. Photo credit: Photosport

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has re-arranged his forward pack for their second-round Super Rugby clash with the Reds on Friday.

After their late short-handed victory over the Chiefs last week, the Dunedin-based outfit has rung the changes, introducing All Blacks stars Aaron Smith and Waisake Naholo to the starting line-up.

International Jackson Hemopo moves from blindside flanker to lock, making way for fellow All Black Shannon Frizell, with a third NZ performer - Dillon Hunt - promoted to the number seven jersey.

The Highlanders lost midfielder Sio Tomkinson to a controversial red card in their season-opener and there's no room for him in the line-up this week, pending a judicial outcome.

"The Reds will bring a lot of energy and physicality to the encounter," says Mauger. "History shows it's always a tough game for us.

"The team is excited to be at home in front of our own fans for the first time this season and no doubt, the players will draw some energy from their support."

Highlanders: 1-Ayden Johnstone, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Jackson Hemopo, 5-Josh Dickson, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-Dillon Hunt, 8-Luke Whitelock (cc), 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Tevita Li, 12-Teihorangi Walden, 13-Rob Thompson, 14-Waisake Naholo, 15-Ben Smith (cc)

Reserves: 16- Ash Dixon, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Jack Whetton, 20-Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Marty Banks, 23-Matt Faddes  


Join us at 7:30pm Friday for live updates of the Highlanders vs Reds Super Rugby clash at Dunedin.