Changes up front for Highlanders

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has opted for a new front row in his team selection for Saturday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash with the Crusaders in Dunedin.

Props Daniel Lienert-Brown and Jeff Thwaites all come in to the starting lineup, while hooker Liam Coltman will take over the No 2 jersey.

‘We are fortunate to have some depth in our front row so we have the ability to make changes, this is a tough competition and as always the Crusaders will present a real challenge on Saturday night,’ forwards coach Clarke Dermody commented.

In the backline, injured wing Sam Gilbert has been replaced by Ngane Punivai and the experienced Michael Collins will play at fullback.

Highlanders – 15 Michael Collins, 14 Ngane Punivai, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (c-c), 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Jeff Thwaites, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon (c-c), 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Vilimoni Koroi.

TEAMS: Super Rugby Aotearoa and AU