Marty Banks will make his Highlanders debut against the Reds in Dunedin on Friday.
The Tasman flyhalf gets his opportunity with Lima Sopoaga unavailable due to family reasons.
The Highlanders have made three other changes to their run-on team with Brendon Edmonds replacing the suspended Kane Hames, hooker Ash Dixon coming in for Liam Coltman and lock Mark Reddish starting ahead of Joe Wheeler.
Among the reserves, Hayden Parker and Kurt Baker have been included in the 23 for the first time this season.
Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jason Emery, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8Nasi Manu (c), 7 John Hardie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Subs: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Kurt Baker.
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