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Smith returns for Highlanders to face Chiefs

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger has included Ben Smith at fullback for this Saturday’s match against the Chiefs under the roof in Dunedin.

The pack have been rewarded for a dominant effort against the Sunwolves and some consistent form so it remains unchanged.

Co-captain, Luke Whitelock, will again play at blindside combining with Elliot Dixon and James Lentjes in a well performing backrow.

In the backs, Patelesio Tomkinson, moves to the reserves and Matt Faddes to the right wing to accommodate the return of Ben Smith at fullback.

Head Coach, Aaron Mauger, is anticipating another tough encounter, “typically your NZ conference games are fiercely contested, that was certainly the case earlier in the season against the Chiefs, so we are expecting nothing less from this game”.

Liam Squire (knee), Waisake Naholo (knee), Marty Banks (foot) were all unavailable for selection this weekend due to injury while Tevita Nabura (knee), Richard Buckman (achilles), Bryn Gatland (foot) are unavailable for the rest of the season due to injury.

Highlanders

15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Luke Whitelock (cc), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 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 Josh McKay, 23 Sio Tomkinson

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