Super Rugby 2019: Marty Banks named for first Highlanders start

Marty Banks in action for the Highlanders
Marty Banks in action for the Highlanders. Photo credit: Photosport

Veteran first-five Marty Banks will get his first start of the Super Rugby season in the Highlanders number -10 jersey against the Blues on Friday.

Banks, 29, has been preferred to young pivots Josh Ioane and Bryn Gatland, who have filled the role so far this year, with mixed success.

The Dunedin-based side did not play last week, when their home fixture against the Crusaders was called off in the aftermath of Friday's mosque shootings.   

Banks' inclusion is one of six changes to the line-up named for the cancelled game. Locks Pari Pari Parkinson and Tom Franklin enter the second row, with Dillon Hunt returning to the openside flank.

Tevita Li will fill one wing position, while Thomas Umaga-Jensen edges Teihorangi Walden in the centres.

Ioane and lock Tom Franklin have been relegated to a bench that also includes All Blacks forward Jackson Hemopo.

Highlanders: 1-Ayden Johnstone, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Pari Pari Parkinson, 5-Tom Franklin, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-Dillon Hunt, 8-Luke Whitelock (cc), 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Marty Banks, 11-Tevita Li, 12-Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 13-Patelesio Tomkinson, 14-Waisake Naholo, 15-Ben Smith (cc)

Reserves: 16-Ray Niuia, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dickson, 20-Jackson Hemopo, 21-Folau Fakatava, 22-Josh Ioane, 23-Richard Buckman


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