Super Rugby 2019: All Black Luke Whitelock joins Highlanders injury ward

Highlanders co-captain Luke Whitelock has joined his team's high-profile walking wounded, sidelined from Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders.

Whitelock, who has played seven tests for the All Blacks and captained New Zealand against Japan last year, isn't in the line-up for the trip to Christchurch, after suffering a calf injury.

He joins fellow internationals Liam Squire (knee), Aaron Smith (ankle) and Waisake Naholo (knee) in the stands, replaced by former All Black Elliot Dixon.

In his absence, veteran fullback Ben Smith will lead the side alone for his 150th appearance as a Highlander, with Josh Ioane inheriting the start at first-five, after Marty Banks broke a bone in his foot.

"It’s difficult to fully express [Smith's] contribution to this team and the club over the years," says coach Aaron Mauger. "It really is incalculable.

"He is the ultimate professional in how he conducts himself on and off the field, and a great inspiration to any player. It’s fantastic he has reached the 150th-game mark - a milestone Ben and his family can be very proud of."

Highlanders: 1-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Pari Pari Parkinson, 5-Tom Franklin, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-James Lentjes, 8-Elliot Dixon, 9-Kayne Hammington, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Tevita Li, 12-Teihorangi Walden, 13-Rob Thompson, 14-Matt Faddes, 15-Ben Smith (c)

Reserves:  16-Ash Dixon, 17-Ayden Johnstone, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dickson, 20-Jackson Hemopo, 21-Folau Fakatava, 22-Bryn Gatland, 23-Patelesio Tomkinson


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

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