Quintet back for Highlanders

Date published: July 5 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Highlanders_pair_Aaron_and_Ben_Smith

The Highlanders are set to be boosted by the return of five All Blacks for their crucial showdown against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Aaron Smith, Elliot Dixon and Malakai Fekitoa all missed last weekend's win at the Kings but are expected to play.

The quintet trained in Argentina as the squad arrived from Johannesburg via Brazil, with the Jaguares having defeated the Bulls last Saturday.

Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod admits he was impressed by how the Argentines performed in that game, especially their forwards.

"We've had a good look at that, they're a good unit and played well against the Bulls," he told Stuff ahead of a huge match for the team.

"Their set-piece was outstanding and they play a really fast game so we know where the challenges are."

He also touched on his own team's showing in their 48-18 win at the Kings that he admits was not as emphatic a victory as the scoreline suggests.

"We weren't happy with our performance. We overplayed our hand early in the game, we forced things," said McLeod.

"We've addressed that, and in defence we gave them (Kings) too much momentum and too much time and space."

COMMENTS