Oliver bows out from Carisbrook


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Highlanders coach Greg Cooper has named only one change to the side that went down by one point to the Hurricanes last weekend.

And that means that skipper Josh Blackie, lock Filipo Levi, the entire front row of Carl Hayman, Anton Oliver and Clarke Dermody, and possibly the half-backs of Jimmy Cowan and Nick Evans will all run on for their final match for the Highlanders against the Brumbies on Saturday at Carisbrook in Dunedin, their home ground.

Oliver bows out as only one of two New Zealanders still playing since making his debut in the first professional Super series of 1996. Tana Umaga is the other.

At 126 caps, Oliver is also the most capped New Zealander in Super rugby, and is eclipsed only by George Gregan overall.

“There’s a lot to play for, it’s going to be a bit of a historic event because it’ll be the last Highlanders’ match for four or five guys,” Oliver told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).

Oliver realises the impact this may have on Highlanders’ rugby.

“It’s going to be unrealistic to try to replace four or five leading players. In fact, I don’t think any New Zealand franchise can do that.”

Cooper’s only change is Matthew Saunders replacing wing Viliame Waqaseduadua.

Glen Horton replaces Saunders on the bench..

Highlanders: 15 James Wilson, 14 Lucky Mulipola, 13 Jason Kawau, 12 Charlie Hore, 11 Matthew Saunders, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Craig Newby, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Josh Blackie (c), 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Anton Oliver, 1 Clarke Dermody
Replacements: 16 Jason Macdonald, 17 Chris King, 18 Hoani Macdonald, 19 Ezra Taylor, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Callum Bruce, 22 Glen Horton

Date: Saturday 5 May
Venue: Carisbrook, Dunedin
Kick-off: 17.30 (5.30 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Touch judges: tbc (South Africa), Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Television match official: Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel, Brian Kinsey


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