Highlanders to rest All Blacks trio

Date published: June 1 2015

The Highlanders will take on the Hurricanes without All Blacks Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa and Aaron Smith when the teams meet in Napier on Friday.

Highlanders boss Jamie Joseph confirmed that the trio will not play as part of an agreement with New Zealand Rugby, whereby each of his Test players must be rested.

The stakes are high though as the Highlanders are chasing a play-off place. They are currently in fourth position in the standings with just two matches of the league phase of the competition left. 

"I wouldn't rest them if I didn't have to, I don't want to change the momentum," Joseph told AAP.

"But that's something that everyone has brought into and I do understand the reason why.

"I think we will benefit over the long-term. In terms of a quarter-final having those players have a breather we will only reap the rewards."