Highlanders ring the changes

Date published: March 5 2015

Highlanders boss Jamie Jospeh has rung the changes to his starting XV to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton this Friday.

In all their are seven changes as well as a positional switch after last weekend's 20-13 victory over the Reds in Dunedin.

Josh Hohneck, Liam Coltman and Ma’afu Fia comprise the new look front row with Fia making his first starting team this season.

Tom Franklin, who has started both games, will make his impact from the bench as Joe Wheeler and Mark Reddish combine in the middle row.

Gareth Evans earns his first appearance in 2015 on the blindside with Elliot Dixon shifting to the openside role.

In the backs, fly-half Lima Sopoaga returns after a one week break and combines with Shaun Treeby in the midfield. Marty Banks, who made his debut last week, returns to the bench with Jason Emery.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (c), 7 Elliot Dixon, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.

Date: Saturday, March 6
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 local (06.35 GMT, 17.35 AEDT, 08.35 SAST)
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, Shane McDermott
TMO: Chris Wratt