Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has named All Blacks Aaron Smith and Ben Smith in his side to play a Super Rugby warm up match against the Waratahs at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle Australia on Friday.
After a tough encounter in Motueka against the Crusaders last week, the Highlanders will be looking to continue some of their second half form into their final pre-season match prior to their first round robin match against the Blues in Dunedin at Forsyth Barr Stadium, 7.35pm, Saturday 22nd February.
All Blacks Aaron Smith and Ben Smith, return from rest to their starting positons in the team, as well as Shane Christie who returns from injury to take his place at No 8 jersey in his first start for the Highlanders, while Lima Sopoaga will be starting in the first five position with Kane Hames and Ged Robinson in the front row.
The Highlanders have also given a medical update on Nasi Manu who has a pectoral injury and is expected back in a week.
TJ Ioane's AC sprain should only keep him out for 1 week, Elliot Dixon (hamstring - 1-2 week) and Liam Coltman (rib - 1 week).
1. Kane Hames,2. Ged Robinson,3. Chris King,4. Jarrad Hoeata,5. Josh Bekhuis,6. Gareth Evans,7. John Hardie,8. Shane Christie,9. Aaron Smith,10. Lima Sopoaga ,11. Kurt Baker ,12. Shaun Treeby,13. Malakai Fekitoa,14. Patrick Osborne,15. Ben Smith (c)
Replacements: Brayden Mitchell, Matias Diaz, Craig Millar, Joe Wheeler, Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Lee Allan, Frae Wilson, Hayden Parker, Phil Burleigh, Winston Stanley and Richard Buckman.