Smith, Dixon reach Highlanders milestones

Highlanders co-captain Aaron Smith will win his 150th Vodacom Super Rugby cap in their final-round clash with the Hurricanes in Dunedin on Saturday.

Smith, who recently won the Highlanders Back of the Year, Fans’ Player of the Year and Highlander Man awards after displaying some of the best form of his long career, is now four caps away from becoming the most capped Highlander – a feat currently owned by former All Blacks back Ben Smith.

Fellow Highlanders co-captain and inspirational hooker Ash Dixon will also be bringing up a special milestone as he will win his 100th cap against the Hurricanes.

The team has only one change from last week with Taranaki flank Tom Florence making his debut for the Highlanders, replacing Jesse Parete on the bench.

The rest of the match-day 23 remains unchanged from the side that lost to Aotearoa champions the Crusaders last Sunday.

Highlanders – 15 Mitch Hunt, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith (c-c), 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Jeff Thwaites, 2 Ash Dixon (c-c), 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Subs: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Ngatugnane Punivai, 23 Tom Florence.

Photo: Dave Rowland/Getty Images