Super Rugby

Joseph shuffles Highlanders pack for Lions Semi-final

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Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has shuffled his forward pack but kept his back-line in tact for Saturday’s Super Rugby Semi-final against the Lions in Johannesburg.

Joseph has made a few changes to his starting forward pack bringing in loose forward, James Lentjes, for Shane Christie and lock, Alex Ainley, replaces Luke Whitelock who moves to number eight.

The starting backline from the quarter final win against the Brumbies remains intact with the talented back three of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne likely to see a lot of ball during the match.

The Highlanders will employ a six forward, two back bench for this week, with hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate, prop Ross Geldenhuys and lock Joe Wheeler added to the squad. In the backs the versatile Marty Banks makes his return from injury to take his place on the bench.

The game will be the Highlanders first daytime match of the season and the 3pm kick off (1am Sunday NZT) should ensure the match is played in excellent conditions.

Both teams have shown a desire to move the ball throughout the season and the game is shaping up as a classic encounter.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Ash Dixon , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Tom Franklin , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. James Lentjes , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Malakai Fekitoa , 13. Matt Faddes , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (C)

Replacements : 16. Greg Pleasants-Tate , 17. Aki Seiuli , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Joe Wheeler , 20. Liam Squire , 21. Dan Pryor , 22. Te Aihe Toma , 23. Marty Banks

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