Super Rugby

Injury forces Highlanders into change for Crusaders

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Tony Brown has named his team to play the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.

A season-ending injury to winger Freedom Vahaakolo (fractured left foot) has forced a reshuffle to the back three for the Highlanders as they prepare to take on the table-topping Crusaders on Good Friday.

Vahaakolo, who sustained the injury at training, will be replaced by Scott Gregory playing his first game of the 2021 Super Rugby Season.

Jona Nareki returns from injury to the left-wing and Connor Garden-Bachop will get his second start at fullback.

Thomas Umaga-Jensen has earned a start and will partner the experienced Michael Collins in the midfield and Folau Fakatava rotates with Aaron Smith at halfback.

Caleb Makene provides cover in the reserves for first-five and fullback and will play his debut for the Club should he take the field.

Following a cameo off the bench last week Japanese World Cup player, Kazuki Himeno, will start at number eight with Hugh Renton taking his place on the six forward/2 back reserves bench.

Highlanders

1. Ethan De Groot,2. Ash Dixon (cc),3. Siate Tokolahi,4. Bryn Evans,5. Paripari Parkinson,6. Shannon Frizell,7. Billy Harmon,8. Kazuki Himeno ,9. Folau Fakatava,10. Mitch Hunt,11 Jona Nareki,12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen,13. Michael Collins,14. Scott Gregory,15. Connor Garden-Bachop

Replacements: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Ayden Johnstone, 18. Josh Hohneck, 19. Josh Dickson, 20. Hugh Renton, 21. Aaron Smith (cc), 22. Caleb Makene (Debut)
23. James Lentjes

 

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