Treeby at 12 for Highlanders

Shaun Treeby will start at inside centre for the Highlanders against the Rebels in Dunedin on Friday.

Treeby comes in for Phil Burleigh, who has been ruled out with a shoulder injury suffered against the Blues at Eden Park last Saturday. Kurt Baker replaces Patrick Osborne on the left wing in the only other change to the backline.

In the forwards, Kane Hames' one-week suspension means the in-form loosehead prop has been replaced by Chris King, with Ma'afu Fia named at tighthead. Gareth Evans also returns to the starting line-up at blindside flanker.

Scrumhalf Aaron Smith is set to make his 50th appearance for the Highlanders.

Meanwhile, the Rebels have made four changes for the match, with two injury enforced.

Colby Fainga'a has failed to recover from a hip injury and is replaced in the back row by Sean McMahon, while Tom Kingston continues to follow concussion protocols and was not be considered for selection. Japanese International Male Sau replaces Kingston on the right wing, with Jordy Reid and Alex Rokobaro injected into the match-day squad as reserves for the first time in 2014.

In the two other changes, Shota Horie is named for his first start of the season with Pat Leafa reverted to the reserves bench, while prop Toby Smith returns from a head knock to start in the front row, with Max Lahiff dropping out of the squad.

Highlighlanders – 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Kurt Baker, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (c), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Chris King.
Subs: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Matias Diaz, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 TJ Ioane.

Rebels – 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Paul Alo-Emilie, 18 Cruze Ah-Nau, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Angus Roberts, 23 Alex Rokobaro.

Photos: Rob Jefferies/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt