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Whitelock & Banks return for Highlanders against Blues

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Highlanders head coach Tony Brown has named Luke Whitelock and Marty Banks in his Super Rugby team to play the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

However Liam Squire and James Lentjes are both out injured giving Gareth Evans, who entered the game a few minutes into last week’s clash, a start at Number 6.

Elliot Dixon will again captain the side this time from openside flanker and Whitelock will complete the new look back row at 8.

Highlanders Head Coach, Tony Brown, has named a forward-heavy bench with six in the reserves including Aki Seiuli at prop and locks, Jackson Hemopo and Joe Wheeler.

Dillon Hunt will cover the loose forwards and make his Super Rugby debut should he take the field. Kayne Hammington and Marty Banks will provide the back cover from the bench.

The match will mark 50 games for the Highlanders for Highlander #197 Joe Wheeler. Wheeler made his debut in 2013.

Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Ash Dixon, Dan Pryor, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Ben Smith, Adrian Smith, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes were all unavailable due to injury. Jason Emery, Hayden Parker are out for the season.

Highlanders

1.Daniel Lienert-Brown 2. Liam Coltman,3. Siosuia Halanukonuka,4. Alex Ainley, 5. Tom Franklin, 6. Gareth Evans, 7. Elliot Dixon ( C ), 8. Luke Whitelock, 9 Aaron Smith, 10 . Lima Sopoaga,11. Tevita Li, 12. Rob Thompson,13.Malakai Fekitoa, 14.Waisake Naholo, 15. Richard Buckman

Replacements : 16.Sekonia Pole, 17. Aki Seiuli,18. Siate Tokolahi, 19. Joe Wheeler, 20. Jackson Hemopo, 21.Dillon Hunt, 22. Kayne Hammington, 23.Marty Banks.

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