Super Rugby

Highlanders largely unchanged for Crusaders

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger has named an almost unchanged side to play champions the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

The high-flying Crusaders will arrive with a nineteen-match winning record intact. The last time they tasted defeat was in the corresponding fixture last year and if history is any guide, then expectations are justifiably high for an exciting match with not too many points separating the two teams.

Highlanders Head Coach, Aaron Mauger, has largely stuck with the side that took on the Hurricanes last week with changes made for the two players that left the field with concussion injuries; Teihorangi Walden comes in for Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Jack Whetton for Pari Pari Parkinson.

Shannon Frizell is in for the hard-working Jackson Hemopo and Tevita Li slips out of the 23 while Waisake Naholo returns to his right-wing spot.

Siate Tokolahi is restored to the bench which will have a 6:2 forward/back split.

Folau Fakatava and Marty Banks will cover the backs while openside flankers Dillon Hunt and James Lentjes are included in the same 23 for the first time this season.

Tevita Nabura (knee – season), Liam Squire (hip), Rob Thompson (ankle) were unavailable for selection due to injury.

Highlanders

1. Ayden Johnstone,2. Liam Coltman,3. Tyrel Lomax,4. Josh Dickson,5. Jack Whetton,6. Shannon Frizell,7. James Lentjes,8. Luke Whitelock (cc),9. Aaron Smith,10. Josh Ioane,11 Richard Buckman,12. Teihorangi Walden,13. Patelesio Tomkinson,14. Waisake Naholo,15. Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon,17. Daniel Lienert-Brown,18. Siate Tokolahi,19. Tom Franklin,20. Elliot Dixon,21. Dillon Hunt,22. Folau Fakatava,23. Marty Banks

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