Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has overhauled his team for this Friday’s game against the Brumbies, making six changes to the side that beat the Blues. All three Highlander All Blacks have been omitted as the Highlanders fulfil the obligation to rest their All Blacks for at least two games this season. Added to that a mounting injury list including seven forwards unavailable for this fixture means that the Highlanders’ depth will certainly be put to the test in Canberra.

Pingi Tala’apitaga earns a start with Josh Hohneck moving to the bench. Tom Franklin returns to the starting team for the injured Mark Reddish. In the backs Trent Renata will make his 2015 debut at fullback while, Japanese international, Fumiaki Tanaka replaces Aaron Smith at halfback. Shaun Treeby and Richard Buckman will combine for the first time in the midfield. Gareth Evans returns to the playing 23 on the reserves bench that features a 6:2 split with lock Joe Latta and halfback Josh Renton poised to make their Super Rugby debuts.

Both teams’ jerseys will feature poppies in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli and Anzac Day.

Brumbies v Highlanders, GIO Stadium, Canberra – Friday 24th April, 9.55pm* (NZT)
*delayed start time due to ANZAC commemorations

1. Kane Hames
2. Liam Coltman
3. Pingi Tala’apitaga
4. Tom Franklin
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Elliot Dixon
7. James Lentjes
8. Nasi Manu (C)
9. Fumiaki Tanaka
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Richard Buckman
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Trent Renata

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Josh Hohneck
19. Joe Latta
20. Gareth Evans
21. Dan Pryor
22. Josh Renton
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Ross Geldenhuys (thumb), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), John Hardie (ankle), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Alex Ainley (jaw), Mark Reddish (ankle)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph
Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod
Manager: Paul McLaughlan

END

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