Highlanders shuffle their pack

29th May 2014, 05:29

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Recovered: Liam Coltman

Recovered: Liam Coltman

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made three changes to his forward pack for their clash against the Reds this weekend.

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made three changes to his forward pack for their clash against the Reds this weekend.

Liam Coltman returns in the number two jersey after missing the loss to the Crusaders with a calf injury, with Ged Robinson dropping to the bench.

Ma'afu Fia gets the start at tighthead prop ahead of Chris King, also amongst the replacements, while Gareth Evans will pack down on the blindside instead of Elliot Dixon.

The Highlanders exciting backline remains unchanged, with All Blacks duo Ben Smith and Aaron Smith both starting along with Malakai Fekitoa.

Three points behind New Zealand Conference leaders the Crusaders, Friday's fixture will be seen by Joseph and his squad as a key chance to make up ground against a lacklustre Reds outfit.

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 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Chris King, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Phil Burleigh.

Date: Friday, May 30
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19:40 (local, 09:40 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)