Super Rugby

Highlanders make two changes for Crusaders

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger has named his team to play the Crusaders in their Super rugby quarter-final in Christchurch on Friday.

The Highlanders will enter the play-offs with a settled looking side with only two personnel change from its last round-robin game against the Waratahs.

Tevita Li makes way for Sio Tomkinson on the left wing and Ben Smith returns to fullback after a lengthy injury break to take his place at fullback.

Smith the Highlanders most capped player has been working hard to get back on the field over the last six weeks and his timely return will be boost for the southern side as they prepare to take on the Crusaders on Friday night.

Elsewhere Daniel Lienert-Brown rotates with Ayden Johnstone in the front row and the 6/2 forward /back split is maintained on the bench.

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

Highlanders

15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Sio Tomkinson, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 1 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Elliot Dixon

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