Highlanders' ABs back to face Chiefs

26th Jun 2014, 04:25

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Aaron Smith: Starts at nine

Aaron Smith: Starts at nine

Highlanders boss Jamie Joseph has named a strong starting XV for Friday's clash with the Chiefs in Dunedin.

Highlanders boss Jamie Joseph has named a strong starting XV for Friday's clash with the Chiefs in Dunedin.

Joseph has included Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Malakai Fekitoa - who all started last weekend's third Test for the All Blacks against England in Hamilton - as well as Patrick Osborne, who joined the All Blacks squad as injury cover.

Hooker Brayden Mitchell and lock Tom Franklin have played themselves into the run-on side after impressing against the New Zealand Barbarians in Invercargill last weekend.

Lee Allen comes onto the replacements bench as back row cover after TJ Ioane sustained an ankle injury during training this week.

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 Tom Franklin, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Chris King, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Lee Allan, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Phil Burleigh.

Date: Friday, June 27
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 local (07.35 GMT, 08.35 BST)
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
Television match official: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)