All Blacks trio back for Sharks clash

Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa and Aaron Smith have returned to the Highlanders lineup for Friday's match in Dunedin.

The All Blacks trio were rested for last weekend's match against the Brumbies in Canberra, which the Highlanders lost 31-18.

In the other change to the backline, Richard Buckman replaces an injured Shaun Treeby at inside centre.

There are four changes to the pack with Josh Hohneck starting at tighthead prop, Mark Reddish at No 5 lock, Gareth Evans at blindside flank and Dan Pryor at openside flank.

Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (c), 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.

Super Rugby teams (Round 12)

Photo: Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt