Highlanders' Head Coach Jamie Joseph has named his starting team to play the Brumbies at Queenstown Recreation Ground in Queenstown on Friday in a Super Rugby warm up match.
Joseph has named seven players to wear the Highlanders jersey for the first time including, Craig Millar, Gareth Evans, Lee Allan, Tom Franklin, Richard Buckman, Winston Stanley and Patrick Osborne.
Stanley returns to New Zealand Super Rugby after playing for the Western Force in Australia, while Millar, Evans, Franklin and Allan will all be making the step up together after having strong seasons playing provincial rugby for Otago in the ITM Cup.
Buckman and Osborne who have both played Super Rugby previously (debuting for Hurricanes and Chiefs respectively), will also run out for the first time in the Highlanders' strip.
As is usual with pre-season games, the full Highlanders squad will travel to Queenstown for the match and are likely to get game time.
There are a number of Highlanders debutants in the reserves including Kane Hames (BOP), Ged Robinson (Rebels), Malakai Fekitoa (Blues) and Argentinian international Matias Diaz.
The game will be played as four 20 minute quarters with a five minute drinks break at the first and third quarter and a standard half time break.
The Highlanders also confirmed that Nasi Manu (Pectoral – 4-6 weeks), Shane Christie (Knee 4-6 weeks), Willie Ripia (Calf 1-2 weeks), Brayden Mitchell (Shoulder AC 1–2 weeks) were all unavailable due to injury.
Match : Highlanders v Brumbies
Venue : Queenstown Recreation Ground, Queenstown
Date : Friday 31st January
Kick off : (18.00 NZT)
1. Craig Millar,2. Liam Coltman (c),3. Ma'afu Fia,4. Jarrad Hoeata,5. Tom Franklin,6. Gareth Evans,7. Lee Allan,8. Elliot Dixon,9. Frae Wilson,10. Hayden Parker ,11. Richard Buckman ,12. Shaun Treeby (vc),13. Winston Stanley,14. Patrick Osborne,15. Trent Renata
Replacements : TBA