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

HIG v CYU

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has freshened his forward pack for the clash against the Blues this Saturday. Ash Dixon and Liam Coltman rotate, with Coltman in the starting XV after two games off the bench.  Mark Reddish earns his third start for the season with Tom Franklin moving to the bench. Brendon Edmonds makes way for Kane Hames who returns to the starting team following five weeks on suspension and a few rounds of club rugby.

Jason Emery will start at second-five ahead of Shaun Treeby who takes a break and Richard Buckman is included in the starting 23 for the first time after being injured in the preseason.

The Highlanders will also be playing in special jersey's this week as we celebrate the annual BNZ Plunket Charity round. There will be some 'new names' on the field who are all New Zealand children who have won a unique charity initiative that was developed by BNZ to raise awareness and funds for Plunket during this weekend's Super Rugby round, and supporters had the chance to bid for jerseys on Trade Me or enter a ballot online.

Highlanders v Blues , Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 18th April, 7.35pm (NZT)
1.  Kane Hames
2.  Liam Coltman
3.  Josh Hohneck
4.  Mark Reddish
5.  Joe Wheeler
6.  Elliot Dixon
7.  James Lentjes
8.  Nasi Manu ( co-C )
9.  Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Jason Emery
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith ( co-C )

Reserves:
16. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Pingi Tala’apitaga
19. Tom Franklin
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Richard Buckman

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Ross Geldenhuys (thumb), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), John Hardie (ankle)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

END

 

464015498

Photo Credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has kept faith with the team that beat the Stormers by naming an unchanged line up for the local derby match against the Crusaders. The Crusaders are fresh off a demolition job on the Sharks in Durban while the Highlanders return from a week off for the bye. Traditionally a close encounter both sides will be keen to maintain their recent success heading into the halfway point of the competition.

Crusaders v Highlanders, AMI  Stadium, Christchurch – Saturday 11th April, 7.35pm (NZT)

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Ash Dixon

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Nasi Manu ( c )

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Shaun Treeby

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves:

16. Liam Coltman

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Pingi Tala’apitaga

19. Mark Reddish

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Marty Banks

23. Jason Emery

Unavailable:  Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (shoulder),Ross Geldenhuys (Thumb) John Hardie (ankle)

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

End

highlanders v hurricanes 0083

Photo credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Highlanders Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has made only two changes to his starting pack to play the South African conference leaders, the Stormers, at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night in Dunedin. Hooker, Ash Dixon, will start ahead of Liam Coltman and openside flanker, James Lentjes, will make his Super Rugby debut starting in the number 7 jersey. Lentjes made a good impression with Otago during the ITM cup and has joined the squad as injury cover for Shane Christie and John Hardie.  Dan Pryor moves to the bench, while the backline remains unchanged from last week. 

Highlanders v Stormers, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 28th March, 7.35pm (NZT)
1.  Brendon Edmonds
2.  Ash Dixon
3.  Josh Hohneck
4.  Tom Franklin
5.  Joe Wheeler
6.  Elliot Dixon
7.  James Lentjes
8.  Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9.  Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (co-captain)

Reserves:
16. Liam Coltman
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Pingi Tala’apitaga
19. Mark Reddish
20. Dan Pryor
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Richard Buckman (knee), Kane Hames (suspended) Ross Geldenhuys (Thumb) John Hardie (ankle)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

End

highlanders v hurricanes 0081

Credit: Chris Sullivan - Seen in Dunedin

Highlanders co-captain Nasi Manu has signed for Scottish club Edinburgh and will leave at the end of the current Investec Super Rugby season. Manu has played 53 games for the Highlanders and has been co-captain with Ben Smith for the last two seasons.

“Believe me it was a very hard decision to leave the Highlanders, my team mates, my friends and family. This place, this team, it gets under your skin, becomes part of you and I will always treasure my time here” said Manu.

“Obviously I want to go out on a good note and I am keen to finish off my time here really successfully and that’s my focus at the moment. I know when the time comes to go it’s going to be tough. We have built such a great environment here; a lot of players have come down and played their best rugby with the Highlanders. I think it’s because we are all pretty close, a lot of us aren’t from here but they adopt you pretty quick in this place, it’s a great town to live and work in, a village really and that’s what I love about it”

Head coach Jamie Joseph wishes Manu well in the future “Nacho has been one of our key players for a number of years, a fearless player and inspiring leader. We often refer to family when talking about the team and he has been an invaluable member of that family, we all wish him the best for his time in Scotland. We know he will take some of the Highlander spirit with him as he goes”

General Manager Roger Clark said “Nasi is a real Highlander man; he represents a lot of what we stand for on and off the field.  His legacy will be that he made a significant contribution to the team and the culture and moved the Highlanders forward; we are a better team now than when he arrived. That’s about all you can ask really”.

Ends