The Highlanders have made three changes to their forward pack for Saturday's derby clash with the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland.
The Highlanders have made three changes to their pack for Saturday's clash with the Blues at Eden Park.
Jarrad Hoeata, who this has been linked with a move to Cardiff Blues, comes into the second-row to partner Brad Thorn, with Chris King and Ged Robinson selected in Jamie Joseph's front-row.
Robinson replaces the promising Liam Coltman in the line-up while there is a tweak on the bench as prop Craig Millar comes in for Matias Diaz.
The Highlanders will be looking to follow up last week's victory over the Hurricanes with another New Zealand Conference scalp that would give their Super Rugby campaign a significant boost.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Shaun Treeby.
Date: Saturday, February 29
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kickoff: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)