The Pulse Energy Highlanders will enter the Lion’s den on Saturday afternoon knowing that if they can contain the top South African side, a third ever Investec Super Rugby Final beckons. The Lions who easily despatched the Crusaders last week have lain in waiting as the travelling Highlanders moved camps from Canberra to Johannesburg earlier in the week. The game will be the Highlanders first daytime match of the season and the 3pm kick off (1am Sunday NZT) should ensure the match is played in excellent conditions. Both teams have shown a desire to move the ball throughout the season and the game is shaping up as a classic encounter.

Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made a few changes to his starting forward pack bringing in loose forward, James Lentjes, for Shane Christie and lock, Alex Ainley, replaces Luke Whitelock who moves to number eight. The starting backline from the quarter final win against the Brumbies remains intact with the talented back three of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne likely to see a lot of ball during the match.

The Highlanders will employ a six forward, two back bench for this week, with hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate, prop Ross Geldenhuys and lock Joe Wheeler added to the squad. In the backs the versatile Marty Banks makes his return from injury to take his place on the bench.

Lions v Pulse Energy Highlanders – 3.00pm, Saturday 30th  July, Emirates Stadium, Johannesburg (SAT) (1.00am Sunday 31st July NZT)

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Tom Franklin

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Luke Whitelock

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Malakai Fekitoa

13. Matt Faddes

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( C )

 

Reserves

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

17. Aki Seiuli

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Joe Wheeler

20. Liam Squire

21. Dan Pryor

22. Te Aihe Toma

23. Marty Banks

 

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

Unavailable due to injury: Siosuia Halanukonuka

END

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