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Smith returns for Highlanders against Waratahs

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All Blacks half back Aaron Smith has been named in the Highlanders Super rugby starting line up to play the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

The Highlanders side for this weekend also features the return of Jackson Hemopo and Dillon Hunt to the pack and Patelesio Tomkinsons’ selection in the midfield.

Hemopo replaces veteran lock Alex Ainley and the hard-working Dillon Hunt returns for James Lentjes.

In the backs, Aaron Smith takes the place of the well performed Kayne Hammington, and Tevita Li is back from injury and will take a spot on the bench.

Patelesio Tomkinson gets his first starting opportunity in the midfield with Teihorangi Walden sitting the game out after experiencing concussion symptoms during the week.

A former NZ U20 player, Tomkinson, is a hard-hitting young midfielder from Otago who has had limited opportunities since joining the club last season.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown,2. Ash Dixon (cc),3. Tyrel Lomax,4. Jackson Hemopo,5. Tom Franklin,6. Elliot Dixon,7. Dillon Hunt,8. Luke Whitelock,9. Aaron Smith,10. Lima Sopoaga,11. Tevita Nabura,12.Sio Tomkinson,13. Rob Thompson,14. Waisake Naholo,15. Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements : 16. Liam Coltman,17. Aki Seiuli,18. Kalolo Tuiloma,19. Shannon Frizell,20. Marino Mikaele Tu’u,21. Kayne Hammington,22. Josh Ioane,23. Tevita Li,

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