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Coltman to play 100th match for Highlanders against Tahs

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger has named his team for the final regular season round match against the Waratahs at Invercargill.

Highlanders stalwart Liam Coltman will play his 100th game for the club when he takes the field against the NSW Waratahs on Friday.

Coltman who has only missed one game this year has been in outstanding form all season and was recently voted player of the year at the club’s awards night.

Co-captain, Ben Smith’s, troublesome hamstring has not recovered sufficiently enough for him to take his place in the 23 despite training with the team this week. In a statement Head Coach, Aaron Mauger said, “Ben worked extremely hard to be available for his team this week, unfortunately, he is still a little short of being match ready”.

Elsewhere, Teihorangi Walden is restored to the midfield and Daniel Lienert-Brown and Elliot Dixon will form part of a six/two: forward/back reserve bench for what is shaping as a season-defining game for the Highlanders, their top eight aspirations rely on a strong winning performance against the Waratahs. If they achieve five points from the match, they will have to anxiously await other results throughout the weekend.

Tevita Nabura (knee), Richard Buckman (Achilles), Bryn Gatland (foot) were all unavailable due to season-ending injuries.

Highlanders

1.Ayden Johnstone, 2.Liam Coltman, 3.Tyrel Lomax, 4.Jackson Hemopo, 5.Tom Franklin, 6.Liam Squire, 7.James Lentjes, 8.Luke Whitelock (c), 9.Aaron Smith, 10. Josh Ioane, 11 Tevita Li, 12. Teihorangi Walden,13. Rob Thompson, 14. Waisake Naholo,15. Josh McKay

Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown,18. Siate Tokolahi, 19. Josh Dickson, 20. Shannon Frizell, 21. Kayne Hammington,22. Marty Banks, 23. Elliot Dixon

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