The Pulse Energy Highlanders will field a strong side against the British & Irish Lions despite seven players being unavailable on national duties for the All Blacks and NZ Maori.

All Blacks Liam Coltman, Lima Sopoaga and Waisake Naholo have all been made available for this historic match.

The forwards are virtually unchanged from the starting pack that took on the Crusaders with only Jackson Hemopo and Dillon Hunt added. In the backs Teihorangi Walden gets a rare start with Richard Buckman shifting to fullback due to the unavailability of regular fullbacks Ben Smith and Matt Faddes. All Black Lima Sopoaga will play at 10 shifting Marty Banks to the bench and Kayne Hammington will make just his second start of the season at halfback.

On the bench a Highlanders debut looms for lock Josh Dickson and an opportunity for local boy Josh Renton to play at halfback in front of his home crowd.

Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Scott McLeod knows the match will be a big occasion “for some of these guys this will be the biggest rugby day of their careers, and it is a special moment in any rugby player’s life to play against the Lions. It’s going to be a massive occasion for the club and our supporters”.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v British and Irish Lions - 7.35pm, Tuesday 13th June, Forsyth Barr Stadium

  1. 1. Daniel Lienert-Brown

    2. Liam Coltman

    3. Siate Tokolahi

    4. Alex Ainley

    5. Jackson Hemopo

    6. Gareth Evans

    7. Dillon Hunt

    8. Luke Whitelock (C)

    9. Kayne Hammington

    10. Lima Sopoaga

    11. Tevita Li

    12. Teihorangi Walden

    13. Malakai Fekitoa

    14. Waisake Naholo

    15. Richard Buckman

    Reserves

    16. Greg Pleasants-Tate

    17. Aki Seiuli

    18. Siosuia Halanukonuka

    19. Josh Dickson

    20. Jimmy Lentjes

    21. Josh Renton

    22. Marty Banks

    23. Patrick Osborne

Unavailable due to injury: Liam Squire, Matt Faddes

Unavailable due to All Blacks selection: Ben Smith, Aaron Smith

Unavailable due to NZ Maori selection: Elliot Dixon, Ash Dixon, Joe Wheeler, Rob Thompson, Tom Franklin

END

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