Super Rugby

Squire returns for Highlanders to face Bulls

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Highlanders Super rugby head coach Aaron Mauger has been able to include Liam Squire for his first match of the season in the team to play the Bulls in Dunedin.

Also returning from injury for the penultimate round of the regular season are Jackson Hemopo and Tevita Li.

Josh McKay will get his first start of the year at fullback and Sef Fa’agase comes onto the bench for an injured Daniel Lienert-Brown.

It’s a big night for Luke Whitelock who will captain the side in his 100th Super Rugby game and will also bring up 50 games for the Highlanders.

Whitelock will be presented with a mere by NZ Rugby post-match to acknowledge this milestone. It may also be an emotional evening for a number of long-serving Highlanders who will in all likelihood be making their last home appearance at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Fan favourite, Waisake Naholo, will finish his time to the sound of his name ringing around the ground as the Highlanders Club has invited fans to come along for one last chant for the popular winger.

Additionally, at the end of the game fans will be invited onto the field to be part of a special presentation to Highlanders legend Ben Smith to commemorate his stellar career with the club.

Unavailable due to injury: Ben Smith (hamstring), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), Teihorangi Walden (concussion)

Season ending injuries: Tevita Nabura (knee), Richard Buckman (achilles), Bryn Gatland (foot)

Highlanders

Ayden Johnstone, Liam Coltman, Tyrel Lomax, Jackson Hemopo, Tom Franklin, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Luke Whitelock (c), Aaron Smith, Josh Ioane, Tevita Li, Patelesio Tomkinson, Rob Thompson, Waisake Naholo, Josh McKay

Replacements: Ash Dixon, Sef Fa’agase, Siate Tokolahi, Josh Dickson, Shannon Frizell, Kayne Hammington,Marty Banks, Thomas Umaga-Jensen

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