Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has named his Super Rugby team to play the Crusaders in Christchurch with four changes to the team that fell to the Waratahs in Sydney.
Co.captain Ben Smith has failed to recover from a leg infection that saw him hospitalised for three days following last weekend’s game and has been ruled out this week.
This weekend's Super Rugby match will be the first Highlanders game that Smith has missed since April 2012.
The front row has two changes with Liam Coltman rejoining the starting XV as hooker and Chris King coming back onto the tight.head side of the scrum.
Hayden Parker will start in the playmaker position of first five, Trent Renata replaces Smith at fullback and Gareth Evans rounds out the bench as loosie cover.
As the Highlanders enter the final round of the regular season the Highlanders are still in the hunt for a play.off and a win against the Crusaders would help solidify that position.
1 . Kane Hames , 2 . Liam Coltman , 3 . Chris King , 4 . Tom Franklin , 5 . Joe Wheeler , 6 . Elliot Dixon , 7 . Shane Christie , 8 . Nasi Manu (Captain) , 9 . Aaron Smith , 10 . Hayden Parker , 11 . Patrick Osborne , 12 . Shaun Treeby , 13 . Malakai Fekitoa , 14 . Richard Buckman , 15 . Trent Renata
Replacements : 16 . Ged Robinson , 17 . Matias Diaz , 18 . JP Koen , 19 . Josh Bekhuis , 20 . Gareth Evans , 21 . Fumiaki Tanaka , 22 . Lima Sopoaga , 23 . Phil Burleigh