Veteran second-row Brad Thorn will start for the Highlanders in Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Bulls at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
Thorn will face off with Victor Matfield in the game after the former All Black replaced Jarrad Hoeata in head coach Jamie Joseph's starting line-up.
Other changes to the line-up see Kane Hames return from suspension to take the place of Ma'afu Fia, with Chris King shifting to tighthead prop.
Meanwhile, Nasi Manu has been moved to bench duty as the number eight jersey goes to Elliot Dixon, with John Hardie also named in the 23.
The powerful Patrick Osborne is named on the wing in place of the suspended Kurt Baker.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 John Hardie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Nasi Manu.
Date: Friday, April 11
Kick-off: 19.35 local (08:35 BST, 07.35 GMT)
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)