Highlanders fly-half Lima Sopoaga has been included in coach Jamie Joseph's starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Crusaders.
Highlanders fly-half Lima Sopoaga has been included in coach Jamie Joseph's starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Crusaders in Dunedin.
Sopoaga returns after spending two weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury and replaces Hayden Parker, who drops down to the bench.
Left wing Patrick Osborne, is also back in the run-on side after recovering from an ankle injury, and takes over from Jason Emery in the starting line-up.
Centre Malakai Fekitoa has been cleared to play after spending the week at an All Blacks training camp in a moon boot.
Liam Coltman is sidelined with a calf strain, but is expected to be available for selection next weekend against the Reds in Brisbane.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Sam Anderson-Heather, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Phil Burleigh.
Date: Saturday, 24 May
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 17.35 local (05.35 GMT, 06.35 BST)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)