Newby collects his half-ton




The Highlanders’ star loose forward Craig Newby will be playing his 50th game for the franchise when they take on the Blues in a Super 14 Round Five match at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

Newby – who was drafted into the Highlanders in 2002, 2004 and 2005 before transferring to Otago – also played seven Super Rugby matches for the Blues.

He was an All Black in 2004 and again last year and returned at the start of this year after missing most of the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup through injury.

There is further significance to the game with the two teams playing for the treasured Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy. The Highlanders are the current holders.

All Black first five-eighths Nick Evans returns to the side and will play his first game of the Super 14 season. His return from injury has proved timely, after the in form Charlie Hore injured his ribs against the Stormers last week.

Viliame Waqaseduadua has been a late injury-enforced withdrawal and Craig Clare will fill the gap on the left wing.

The forward pack remains the same, while the only other changes to the squad are on the replacement bench.

Jamie Mackintosh replaces Keith Cameron, Filipo Levi replaces Kane Thompson and James Wilson comes back into the squad as well.

Highlanders: 15 Glen Horton, 14 Lucky Mulipola, 13 Matthew Saunders, 12 Callum Bruce, 11 Craig Clare, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Craig Newby, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Josh Blackie (c), 5 James Ryan, 4 Hoani MacDonald, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason MacDonald, 1 Clarke Dermody
Replacements: 16 David Hall, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Filipo Levi, 19 Hale T-Pole, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Aaron Bancroft, 22 James Wilson

Date: Friday, 2 March
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Willie Roos (South Africa)
Television match official: Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
Assessor: Alan Riley (New Zealand), Dennis Immelman (South Africa)

365 Digital

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