Super Rugby 2019: Ben Smith rested for Highlanders v Sunwolves

Ben Smith will not travel to Tokyo with the Highlanders.
Ben Smith will not travel to Tokyo with the Highlanders. Photo credit: Photosport

Aaron Mauger has resisted change, sticking with largely the same Highlanders side that proved too good for the Blues last weekend.

The 24-12 win in Dunedin was the southern men's first since the second round of the 2019 Super Rugby season. 

With a trio to the Sunwolves at hand, back-to-back victories will propel the Highlanders to their place in the New Zealand conference, above the Blues who have a bye.

Mauger has promoted captain Luke Whitelock to the starting lineup meaning the outstanding Shannon Frizell will be introduced off the bench.

The only other change comes in the backline with the return of centre Rob Thompson leading to a reshuffle. Matt Faddes moves to fullback while Patelesio Tomkinson will start on the right wing.

All Black Ben Smith is on a mandatory rest week.

The bench will have a six-two split, with Dillon Hunt being included in the forwards mix.  Kayne Hammington and Bryn Gatland will cover the backs.

Highlanders: 1-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Jackson Hemopo, 5-Tom Franklin, 6-Luke Whitelock, 7-James Lentjes, 8-Elliot Dixon, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Tevita Li, 12-Teihorangi Walden, 13-Rob Thompson, 14-Patelesio Tomkinson, 15-Matt Faddes

Reserves: 16-Ash Dixon, 17-Sef Fa'agase, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dickson, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Bryn Gatland, 23-Dillon Hunt


Join us at 10pm Friday for live updates of the Highlanders v Sunwolves Super Rugby clash.