Super Rugby

Smith returns for Highlanders against Sharks

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Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has named a refreshed Super Rugby team to play the Sharks in Dunedin and included captain Ben Smith in the starting line up.

The Highlanders had a bye last week and co-captain Smith returns to the side after missing the loss to the Reds in Brisbane.

Smith suffered concussion during the last home game against the Force but has been cleared to play after two weeks rest and returns at fullback with Matt Faddes moving to the right wing and Jack Wilson on the left wing.

At second-five, Rob Thompson, makes way for Jason Emery who will make his seventh appearance for the season and first start for the season after impressing off the bench in Brisbane.

Several changes have been made to the forward pack as the Highlanders anticipate an upfront battle against the Sharks with Ash Dixon coming in at hooker and Josh Hohneck and Tom Franklin returning to the starting line-up.

Elliot Dixon has recovered from his head cut and will team up with in-form Liam Squire and Shane Christie in the loose forwards.

Alex Ainley and Craig Millar have been included in the replacements for this game after some impressive club form.

Waisake Naholo (leg), Brendon Edmonds (knee), Marty Banks (ribs) were unavailable due to injury.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Ash Dixon , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Tom Franklin , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. Shane Christie (Co-Captain) , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Jack Wilson , 12. Jason Emery , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Matt Faddes , 15. Ben Smith (Co-Captain)

Replacements 16. Liam Coltman , 17. Craig Millar , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Alex Ainley , 20. Dan Pryor , 21. Fumiaki Tanaka , 22. Hayden Parker , 23. Patrick Osborne

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