Highlanders up for highveld clash

Highlanders scrumhalf Aaron Smith is relishing the opportunity to play at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The defending champions won their Super Rugby quarter-final against the Brumbies in Canberra last weekend, and then had to make the long flight to Johannesburg for their semi-final.

The Highlanders lost last year's clash with the Lions at Ellis Park (28-23), but their Test players have enjoyed success at the ground with the All Blacks.

A jetlagged Smith said he was looking forward to an afternoon game against opponents who play a lot like New Zealand teams.

'We play half our games under a roof [in Dunedin] and look to play a positive mindset of rugby,' Smith told stuff.co.nz. 'So three o'clock at Ellis Park, it doesn't get much better.

'The Lions play a real positive game of footy, they're very similar to New Zealand teams. One thing you have to respect about them, is they play their footy for the full 80. I've seen a lot of footage of them just quick-tapping in the 76th minute, they don't stop until the whistle goes.'

Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt