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Nonu returns as Thorn captains Highlanders

Former All Black Brad Thorn has taken over the Highlanders captaincy

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Article Published: Wednesday 20 March 2013|

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Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has brought All Black Ma'a Nonu for their match against the Chiefs and Brad Thorn has adopted the captaincy.

A rib injury to regular captain Andrew Hore couple with a broken collarbone injury to backup hooker Brayden Mitchell sees Liam Coltman promoted into the starting line up at hooker.

Former Highlanders hooker Jason Rutledge comes on to the bench after he joined the squad earlier this week.

Three changes have been made to the run-on XV that played the Hurricanes in Dunedin last Friday night.

In the forwards, Liam Coltman makes his first start for the Highlanders with both Andrew Hore and Brayden Mitchell on the injured list.

Josh Bekhuis returns to lock and Jarrad Hoeata moves to blindside flanker and Joe Wheeler moves to the bench. In the backs, Ma'a Nonu returns to second five, while Phil Burleigh will provide impact from the reserves.

Jason Rutledge returns to the Highlanders as injury cover for Hore and Mitchell. Frae Wilson also joins the Highlanders' reserves for the first time.

With Hore being ruled out Thorn has adopted the captaincy as he did when Hore went off last week.

Highlanders' stalwart Chris King will make his second start for the season and his third of the season but this week will be his 100th Super Rugby appearance - his 84th for the Highlanders.

King made his debut for the Highlanders in 2005 and will join a small and illustrious group of centurions, with , only Anton Oliver (127 games) and Jimmy Cowan (108 games) also to reach 100 games while playing for the , southern franchise.

Highlanders' Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, commented that King's achievement is testament to his attitude and , professionalism; both on and off the field.

"Chris has a very professional approach to his rugby. He trains hard, has great technique and gives his all for 80 minutes while on the park. "

"He's been a great leader both on and off the field, and these attributes have made him a player who has been selected week in and week out for our team".

Highlanders

1. Tony Woodcock , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Chris King , 4. Brad Thorn (Captain) , 5. Josh Bekhuis , 6. Jarrad Hoeata , 7. John Hardie , 8. Elliot Dixon , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Colin Slade , 11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain) , 12. Ma'a Nonu , 13. Jason Emery , 14. Kade Poki , 15. Ben Smith

Replacements : 16. Jason Rutledge , 17. Bronson Murray , 18. Joe Wheeler , 19. Tim Boys , 20. Frae Wilson , 21. Lima Sopoaga , 22. Phil Burleigh

 
 
 
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