Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has made five changes to his starting XV to face the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Star wing Waisake Naholo has been drafted back into the run-on side after missing out on selection against the Bulls. Naholo’s inclusion sees captain Ben Smith return to fullback in place of Fletcher Smith.
Twenty-one-year-old Patelesio Tomkinson will play on the left wing in the injury-enforced absence of Tevita Li.
In the pack, there’s a direct swap at flank, with Shannon Frizell starting ahead of Elliot Dixon. Jackson Hemopo makes way for Alex Ainley at No 4 lock and loosehead prop Aki Seiuli comes in for Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Utility back Matt Faddes suffered an injury in training this week and has been bracketed with Josh McKay on the bench.
Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Sio Tomkinson, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Matt Faddes/Josh McKay.
Photo: Dianne Manson/Getty Images