Super Rugby

Highlanders bring their All Blacks back for Waratahs QF

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger, has named his strongest side to take on the Waratahs in Super rugby quarter final in Sydney on Saturday.

Returning to the team this week are All Blacks Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Luke Whitelock, Elliot Dixon, co-captain Ash Dixon and centre, Rob Thompson.

This is the fifth consecutive year the Highlanders have made the play-offs, finishing in 6th position at the end of the round robin stage.

They are in the not unfamiliar position of being on the road having played only two play-off games at home since the inception of Super Rugby (1999 and 2015).

Coach Mauger is excited by the opportunity, “these are the opportunities the guys work hard all year for and there are no second chances. It’s simply about putting our best performance on the field on Saturday.

The Waratahs are a quality side playing at home which presents an awesome challenge for our guys, but like I said, these are the games we love to play”

Siate Tokolahi (knee), Alex Ainley (ankle), Richard Buckman (hamstring) were not considered due to injury.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown 2. Liam Coltman 3. Tyrel Lomax 4. Jackson Hemopo 5. Tom Franklin 6. Liam Squire 7. James Lentjes 8. Luke Whitelock 9. Aaron Smith 10. Lima Sopoaga 11. Tevita Li 12. Teihorangi Walden 13. Rob Thompson 14. Waisake Naholo 15. Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon (cc) 17. Aki Seiuli 18. Kalolo Tuiloma 19. Shannon Frizell 20. Elliot Dixon 21. Kayne Hammington 22. Josh Ioane 23. Matt Faddes

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