Super Rugby

Highlanders rest All Blacks for Jaguares

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger has named Ash Dixon as captain of the team to play the Jaguares on Saturday in Argentina.

Both the Highlanders and Jaguares played in South Africa in Round 6 and suffered losses so will be looking to turn those results around.

The Highlanders will be without two All Blacks as co-captain Aaron Smith and hooker Liam Coltman have returned to New Zealand as part of their All Blacks rest programme.

Additionally, prop Ayden Johnstone (concussion) and winger Jona Nareki (ribs) sustained injuries that forced them out of the second week of the tour.

Johnstone’s injury provides an opportunity for young Southland prop Ethan De Groot to get his first start for the Highlanders.

Also making their debuts off the bench are young Canterbury lock Will Tucker and experienced hooker Nathan Vella.

There is some good news in the lock department as Josh Dickson has returned from injury and will partner Manaaki Selby-Rickit in the middle row.

In the backs, Patelesio Tomkinson, returns to the team following his suspension and experienced midfield back Teihorangi Walden comes into the midfield moving Josh Ioane to fullback.

Folau Fakatava makes the match day 23 for the first time in 2020.

Tevita Nabura, James Lentjes, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Rob Thompson, Liam Coltman, Aaron Smith, Jona Nareki, Ayden Johnstone, Jesse Parete were all unavailable for selection.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown 2. Ash Dixon (C) 3. Siate Tokolahi 4. Josh Dickson 5. Manaaki Selby-Rickit 6. Shannon Frizell 7. Dillon Hunt 8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u 9. Kayne Hammington 10. Mitch Hunt 11. Tima Fainga’anuku 12. Teihorangi Walden 13. Ngane Punivai 14. Patelesio Tomkinson 15. Josh Ioane

Replacements : 16. Nathan Vella 17. Ethan De Groot 18. Jeff Thwaites 19. Will Tucker 20. Teariki Ben-Nicholas 21. Folau Fakatava 22. Michael Collins 23. Josh McKay

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