Highlanders welcome back Christie

Date published: March 16 2016

Highlanders co-captain Shane Christie returns to the Highlanders' starting XV for their clash with the Waratahs on Friday.

Christie is one of four changes named by head coach Jamie Joseph, with the four players dropping out of starting line-up due to injuries suffered during the defending champions' win over the Lions in Dunedin last week.

Christie comes in at openside flanker for Dan Pryor, who is sidelined with concussion, while Joe Wheeler, also a victim of a head knock, is replaced by Tom Franklin on the blindside.

Liam Squire comes in at the back of the scrum for Luke Whitelock who is sidelined with a knee injury, with Patrick Osborne drops out of the matchday squad due to a hip injury with Ryan Tongia standing in on the left wing.

Hooker Liam will run out for his 50th Super Rugby cap after making his debut for the Highlanders in 2013.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (cc), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery

Date: Friday, March 18
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:45 local (08:45 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Referees: James Leckie, Graham Cooper
TMO: Ian Smith