Highlanders change five for Blues clash


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The Highlanders have made five changes to the starting XV from the team that played the Crusaders in Nelson last Saturday for their match with the Blues.

In the forward pack Jason Rutledge comes back into the front row at hooker, replacing Mo Schwalger. Jarrad Hoeata moves back into lock to make way for Adam Thomson on the blindside flank.

Tom Donnelly moves back to the reserves bench. Alando Soakai replaces John Hardie at openside flanker, who drops out of the 22.

In the backline, Jimmy Cowan returns to halfback and Aaron Smith moves to the reserves. Kade Poki also comes back into the backline on the right wing, pushing James Paterson to the bench.

The Highlanders and Blues will also be playing for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy, which the Blues currently hold.


1 ,Jamie Mackintosh (C) 2 , Jason Rutledge 3 , Chris King 4, Jarrad Hoeata 5 , Josh Bekhuis 6 , Adam Thomson 7 , Alando Soakai 8 , Nasi Manu 9 , Jimmy Cowan (VC) 10 ,Tony Brown 11,Siale Piutau 12 , Ben Smith 13 ,Kendrick Lynn 14 ,G Kade Poki 15, Robbie Robinson

Replacements: 16. Mo Schwalger 17. David Te Moana 18. Tom Donnelly 19. Nick Crosswell 20. Aaron Smith 21. Matt Saunders 22. James Paterson

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