Seven newbies in Highlanders squad

Date published: February 19 2015

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has named his team for the South Island derby against the Crusaders in Dunedin on Saturday.

There are seven players set to make their Highlander debuts including props Josh Hohneck and Ross Geldenhuys and right wing Waisake Naholo in the starting line-up.

The other potential debutants are Ash Dixon, Mark Reddish, Dan Pryor and Marty Banks who are on the replacements bench.

As with last season the team will be co-captained by Nasi Manu and Ben Smith. Joseph has selected from a near fully fit squad with just Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (knee) and Pingi Tala’apitaga (knee) unavailable due to injury.

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

Date: Saturday, February 21
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)