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Whitelock starts for Highlanders against Hurricanes

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Highlanders Super Rugby coach Jamie Joseph has named a team with three changes for their Round 2 match against the Hurricanes in Dunedin.

Former Crusader Luke Whitelock takes his place at the back of the scrum in his 51st super rugby game and debut for the Highlanders.

Brendon Edmonds who was the starting loosehead last season returns at the expense of Daniel Lienert-Brown who goes to the bench.

Number Eight Liam Squire who made a big impression in the first half against the Blues will make his impact from the bench this week.

The withdrawal of Waisake Naholo due to injury provides local boy Matt Faddes with a real chance to stake a claim for the vacant wing berth.

Faddes showed glimpses of his blistering pace late in the Blues match and will no doubt be looking forward to more opportunities in his starting debut.

Rounding out the 23, Tasman prop Siosiua Halanukonuka, gets his first opportunity with the Highlanders.

Jason Emery covers the outside backs and will make his 28th appearance if he makes the field on Saturday.

The match will be the Highlanders first at home since they won the Super Rugby title last season.

Waisake Naholo (leg), Marty Banks (knee) Fumiaki Tanaka (calf) were not considered for selection due to injury.

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Tom Franklin , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. Shane Christie ( cc) , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Teihorangi Walden , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Matt Faddes , 15. Ben Smith ( cc )

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Siosiua Halanukonuka , 19. Liam Squire , 20. Dan Pryor , 21. Josh Renton , 22. Hayden Parker , 23. Jason Emery

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