Highlanders change five for Lions

Date published: March 10 2016

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made five changes, including a positional switch, to his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash with the Lions in Dunedin. 
Josh Hohneck and Tom Franklin get a break fron the starting 23 while Shane Christie and Elliot Dixon move to the bench. 

Siosiua Halnukonuka will get his first start as Hohneck's replacement at tighthead prop while Alex Ainley replaces Franklin in the middle row. 

Luke Whitelock moves from number eight to blindside flanker making way for Liam Squire at the back of the scrum. Dan Pryor will start at openside giving the pack a great deal of mobility in what is expected to be a fast paced game.

In the backs hard running midfielder Rob Thompson will make his debut for the Highlanders at inside centre and Jason Emery, who performed well last week, will again look to make an impact from the bench. 

Ben Smith will captain the side.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds 
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Shane Christie, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery

Date: Saturday, March 12
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Kane McBride
TMO: Aaron Paterson