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Highlanders make two changes for Brumbies

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Highlanders Super Rugby Head Coach Aaron Mauger has mostly kept faith with the players who lost to the Sharks for this weekend’s match against the Brumbies.

Mauger has made just two selection changes to the starting fifteen that lost to the South Africans.

The Sharks put the Highlanders to the sword 20-42, running in five tries in the process, last weekend.

The Brumbies are flying high and are unbeaten after two rounds.

They fought back to beat the Reds 27-24 in the opening round.

The following week, they dispatched the Melbourne Rebels 39-26 at home.

Shannon Frizell swaps places with Dillon Hunt on the bench, while Patelesio Tomkinson comes in on the right-wing.

Jesse Parete replaces the injured Paripari Parkinson. It brings Jack Whetton into the match-day 23 for his first game of the 2020 Super Rugby season.

Conan O’Donnell, the Counties-Manukau Irish prop (in the squad for the injured Jeff Thwaites), gets an opportunity to impress, but from the bench.

Mauger is aware of the challenge his team will face in the capital city

“They are a tough team to play in Canberra and have a strong home record over the last few seasons; we are expecting a physical encounter on Saturday.”

He added: “We took some positives out of our second-half performance last week, so we now have a good opportunity to build on that this round against the Brumbies.”

Highlanders

15 Josh McKay, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jesse Parete, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.

Replacements 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Conan O’Donnell, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Dillon Hunt, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Michael Collins, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.

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