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Wheeler returns for Highlanders against Crusaders

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Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has named Joe Wheeler in his Super Rugby team to play the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday.

Joseph has kept the starting team largely unchanged as Wheeler’s return to the starting team is the only change to the side that beat the Chiefs last week.

Wheeler will start at lock in his 50th match for the club after debuting in 2013 against the Chiefs.

Tom Franklin moves to the bench and the hard running, Liam Squire, comes into the reserves after recovering from his hip injury received against the Brumbies.

Loosehead prop, Craig Millar, comes back into the playing 23 for his Otago teammate, Aki Seiuli.

Continuity in the backs with the midfield pairing of Malakai Fekitoa and Matt Faddes starting for the second week running and the exciting back three of Ben Smith, Pat Osborne and Waisake Naholo.

The game will be played in front of a near capacity crowd of 23,000 is expected to be the match to watch this round and if history is any indication we can expect another epic encounter.

The game will be preceded by the annual halls of residence match Knox College vs Selwyn College at 5pm, this match is expected to played in front of a few thousand parochial student supporters in the zoo.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2. Ash Dixon, 3. Josh Hohneck, 4. Alex Ainley, 5. Joe Wheeler, 6. Elliot Dixon, 7. Dan Pryor, 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. Craig Millar, 18. Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19. Tom Franklin, 20. Liam Squire, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Marty Banks, 23. Teihorangi Walden

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