Wouldn't you play your All Blacks as much as possible in a key Super Rugby home game?
The Highlanders have brought internationals Aaron Smith and Luke Whitelock back for their local derby against the Blues on Saturday. Smith has made a miraculous recovery from an ankle injury to return several weeks earlier than expected.
But the southerners have only named the duo on their bench, a conservative approach that Newshub rugby experts Ross Karl and John Day think they may regret, as they search for their first win in almost two months.
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"You're the Highlanders, you haven't had a win in a while, and Aaron Smith and Luke Whitelock are two key figures," says Karl. "On the bench for this game?
"If they lost this game, suddenly they're in must-win territory."
"Whitelock I understand, because Elliot Dixon played so well in the first 40 against the Crusaders," he responds.
"But Aaron Smith… don't you want him on for as much time as possible? I wouldn't be surprised if he's a halftime change at least."
For more analysis of this week's NZ Super Rugby fixtures, watch the above video.
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