Six changes for Highlanders

Date published: June 4 2015

The Highlanders have made six changes to their team for Friday's Super Rugby showdown with tournament leaders the Hurricanes in Napier.

The Highlanders will feature a new captain and vice-captain as head coach Jamie Joseph has chosen to rest his All Blacks and Nasi Manu is still on the injured list.

Hooker Ash Dixon earns a start, and the captaincy, while new father Elliot Dixon returns to number eight and Gareth Evans to the blindside. Fumiaki Tanaka, Jason Emery and Marty Banks replace the rested All Blacks in the starting team.

Meanwhile, Ash Dixon, Brendon Edmonds, Gareth Evans, Richard Buckman and Ryan Tongia should feel right at home at McLean Park as they all play for the ITM Cup team and current Ranfurly Shield holders, Hawkes Bay Magpies.

On the bench, Stags scrum-half Scott Eade could be set for his Highlanders debut while Kurt Baker makes his second appearance in the playing 23 for 2015 after coming on against the Reds in round 3.

Highlanders:15 Marty Banks, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 John Hardie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon (c), 1 Brendon Edmonds 
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Scott Eade, 22 Shaun Treeby, 23 Kurt Baker

Date: Friday, June 5
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Kick-off: 19:35  (07:35 GMT, 17:35 AEST, 09:35 SAST)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott, Paul Williams
TMO: Aaron Paterson