Super Rugby

Franklin starts for Highlanders against Hurricanes

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Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has named a Super Rugby team with two changes for this Friday’s blockbuster match against the Hurrricanes in Wellington.

The Highlanders had the bye last week and Joseph has handed a starting place to Tom Franklin who comes in to the side at lock replacing Joe Wheeler who drops out of the 23.

In the backs Daniel Lienert-Brown, who was a late withdrawal for the Crusaders match, will start at loosehead.

Luke Whitelock had a standout game against the Crusaders and again keeps the in-form Liam Squire on the bench, while Mark Reddish is included in the match day team for the first time since round 7.

The game will be massive for both sides as they are separated by a single point on the table, both clubs will be desperate to head into the June break with a win.

NZ rugby has designated round 13 as the “diversity round”. NZ Super Rugby teams will wear a range of brightly coloured boot laces to highlight diversity in rugby.

It is a symbolic gesture to illustrate rugby is a game for everyone, no matter what size, shape, nationality, religion or gender. Joseph commented “our team is particularly diverse, I think we have at least six different nationalities in our squad, all with different backgrounds and cultures but it’s our love of the game that binds us together. ”

“That’s the beauty of rugby, it doesn’t discriminate, it’s come one, come all”.

Liam Coltman (foot) and Shane Christie (hamstring) were not considered for selection due to injury.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Ash Dixon , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Tom Franklin , 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. Aki Seiuli , 18. Siosiua Halanukonuka , 19. Mark Reddish , 20. Liam Squire , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Marty Banks , 23. Teihorangi Walden

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