Minimal changes for Highlanders

Date published: July 28 2016

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made few changes to his starting line up to face the Lions in their Super Rugby semi-final in Johannesburg on Saturday. 

In the forwards, Joseph brings in James Lentjes for Shane Christie at openside flank and lock Alex Ainley replaces Luke Whitelock who moves to number eight.

The starting backline from the quarter-final win against the Brumbies remains intact with the talented back three of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne likely to see a lot of ball during the match.

The Highlanders will employ a six/two split on the bench this weekend, with hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate, prop Ross Geldenhuys and lock Joe Wheeler added to the squad.

In the backs, the versatile Marty Banks makes his return from injury to take his place among the replacements.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (C), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Marty Banks

Date: Saturday, July 30
Venue: Ellis Park Johannesburg
Kick Off local: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keefe, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Shaun Veldsman