Super Rugby Pacific: Aaron Smith ruled out of Blues quarter-final in a huge blow for the Highlanders

Dylan Coetzee

Highlanders veteran scrum-half Aaron Smith has been ruled out of his side’s crunch quarter-final against the Blues this weekend.

Smith was named to start in the play-off game but has since been withdrawn due to a groin injury in a massive blow for the Dunedin-based outfit.


Folau Fakatava will come into the starting line-up and has been a standout performer off the bench this season, growing with each game. The bump up to the XV could serve as an excellent opportunity for the young prospect to showcase his talent in critical moments.

Scrum-half Kayne Hammington takes Fakatava’s place on the bench to complete the match 23 against a rampant Blues side.

Smith is in the top five most experienced Super Rugby players of all time, and the Highlanders needed every ounce of his knowhow in the game.

The odds are stacked against the Highlanders, who qualified for the play-off stage with only four wins in a poor season.

The Blues have been the best team in Super Rugby Pacific, scoring electric tries and winning with drop goals on two occasions.

READ MORE: Super charged: Odds stacked against Australian sides in the quarter-finals


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The first-ever Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals

Planet Rugby previews the first-ever Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals.