Siosuia Halanukonuka, Tom Franklin and Gareth Evans return to the starting line-up and Dillon Hunt retains his starting spot after being called in at the last moment last Saturday to cover an injured Elliot Dixon.

Dixon remains unavailable this week and is joined by outstanding number 8, Luke Whitelock. Whitelock has been displaying some concussion type symptoms since the Sunwolves match and will be rested until he is cleared. Joe Wheeler is joined by Jackson Hemopo on the bench giving the Pulse Energy Highlanders plenty of size to match the always physical South Africans.

Rob Thompson returns to the midfield in place of an injured Richard Buckman and Patrick Osborne will return on the left wing to play his 50th Super rugby game for the Highlanders. There is plenty of firepower to come off the bench with exciting Otago backs Fletcher Smith and Matt Faddes.

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach is aware of the threat his former team brings “they are an exciting side who like to play an expansive game. They will be looking forward to familiar dry conditions and I am sure they will be well up for the game”.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Stormers - 7.35pm, Friday 28th April, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

  1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  2. Liam Coltman
  3. Siosuia Halanukonuka
  4. Alex Ainley
  5. Tom Franklin
  6. Gareth Evans
  7. Dillon Hunt
  8. Liam Squire
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Marty Banks
  11. Patrick Osborne
  12. Rob Thompson
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Waisake Naholo
  15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves

  1. Greg Pleasants-Tate
  2. Aki Seiuli
  3. Siate Tokolahi
  4. Joe Wheeler
  5. Jackson Hemopo
  6. Kayne Hammington
  7. Fletcher Smith
  8. Matt Faddes

Unavailable due to injury: Shane Christie, Luke Whitelock, Elliot Dixon, James Lentjes, Dan Pryor, Lima Sopoaga, Richard Buckman  (Out for the season: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker)

END

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