Ash Dixon will captain the Highlanders against the Hurricanes in Napier on Friday.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has opted to rest his All Blacks while eighthman Nasi Manu is still on the injured list.
Dixon earns a start at hooker and the captaincy, while Elliot Dixon returns to No 8 and Gareth Evans to the blindside.
Scrumhalf Fumiaki Tanaka, centre Jason Emery and fullback Marty Banks replace Aaron Smith, Malakai Fekitoa and Ben Smith respectively.
On the bench, Southland scrumhalf Scott Eade could make his Highlanders debut.
Highlanders – 15 Marty Banks, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 John Hardie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon (c), 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Subs: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Scott Eade, 22 Shaun Treeby, 23 Kurt Baker.
Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images