Pulse Energy Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph has refreshed the forward pack for Saturday night’s game against the Lions. Josh Hohneck and Tom Franklin get a break fron the starting 23 while Shane Christie and Elliot Dixon move to the bench. Siosiua Halnukonuka will get his first start while Alex Ainley replaces Franklin in the middle row.Luke Whitelock moves from number eight to blindside flanker making way for Liam Squire at the back of the scrum. Dan Pryor will start at openside giving the pack a great deal of mobility in what is expected to be a fast paced game.

In the backs hard running midfielder Rob Thompson will make his debut for the Highlanders at second-five and Jason Emery, who performed well last week, will again look to make impact from the bench. Ben Smith will captain the side.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Emirates Lions, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Sat Mar 12th 7.35pm

1.   Brendon Edmonds

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Siosiua Halanukonuka

4.   Alex Ainley

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Luke Whitelock

7.   Dan Pryor

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Matt Faddes

15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Elliot Dixon

20. Shane Christie

21. Josh Renton

22. Hayden Parker

23. Jason Emery

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg), Marty Banks (knee), Fumiaki Tanaka (calf), Tei Walden (concussion)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

Only three changes to the starting team for this week’s first home game of the 2016 season against the Hurricanes. Brendon Edmonds who was the starting loosehead last season returns at the expense of Daniel Lienert-Brown who goes to the bench. Number Eight Liam Squire who made a big impression in the first half against the Blues will make his impact from the bench this week. Luke Whitelock takes his place at the back of the scrum in his 51st super rugby game and debut for the Highlanders.

The withdrawal of Waisake Naholo due to injury provides local boy Matt Faddes with a real chance to stake a claim for the vacant wing berth. Faddes showed glimpses of his blistering pace late in the Blues match and will no doubt be looking forward to more opportunities in his starting debut.

Rounding out the 23, Tasman prop Siosiua Halanukonuka, gets his first opportunity with the Highlanders. Jason Emery covers the outside backs and will make his 28th appearance if he makes the field on Saturday.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Sat Mar 5th 7.35pm

1. Brendon Edmonds
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Tom Franklin
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Elliot Dixon
7. Shane Christie ( cc)
8. Luke Whitelock
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Teihorangi Walden
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Matt Faddes
15. Ben Smith ( cc )

Reserves
16. Ash Dixon
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Siosiua Halanukonuka
19. Liam Squire
20. Dan Pryor
21. Josh Renton
22. Hayden Parker
23. Jason Emery

Unavailable due to injury: Waisake Naholo (leg), Marty Banks (knee) Fumiaki Tanaka (calf)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

 

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will have to do without Waisake Naholo and Fumiaki Tanaka for at least the next month, or longer, due to injury. Naholo sustained a new fracture to the same leg that he injured before the World Cup last year. The injury occurred late in the game against the Blues and the fracture was confirmed by X-Ray on Monday. Team doctor Greg Macleod said “while this is very unfortunate for Waisake, the positive news is that this injury is not as bad as his last fracture. He is already managing well and it’s expected his rehab will take 6 – 8 weeks”.

Fumiaki Tanaka injured his calf during the last training in Auckland and was replaced on the bench by Josh Renton for the Blues match. “Fumi has torn his calf and we expect the recovery to take 4 weeks, “added Macleod

Head coach Jamie Joseph was philosophical about the injuries “to lose players for an extended period is always disappointing but you have to expect injuries to occur  at some point , as a group we simply deal with it and move on, the focus for the players now will be to rehab well and work to make themselves available again”.

Naholo will not be returning to Fiji for treatment as he did last year, his rehab will be under the guidance of Highlanders team doctor Greg Macleod.

END

 

Head Coach of the Pulse Energy Highlanders Jamie Joseph has named an experienced line-up for the opening match of the 2016 Investec Super Rugby competition against the Blues on Friday night. Joseph was able to call on all but two of his squad with only Mark Reddish and Marty Banks unavailable due to injuries sustained in the preseason.

The forwards feature former Chiefs player, Liam Squire, at number eight in his debut Investec Super Rugby competition match for the Highlanders. Shane Christie will co-captain the team from the openside and young loosehead prop Daniel Lienert-Brown earns a start after some impressive preseason form. Alex Ainley and Dan Pryor return from their off season injuries to take their places on the bench.

The exciting trio of Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne will combine at the back and All Black first-five Lima Sopoaga will direct the attack. The game will be a big occasion for two young Otago backs Teihorangi Walden at second-five and outside back Matt Faddes as both will be making their debuts. Walden a former NZU20 representative will start the match, while Faddes a NZ Sevens player is in the reserves.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v Blues, Eden Park, Fri Feb 26th 7.35pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Elliot Dixon

7.   Shane Christie ( cc)

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Teihorangi Walden

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( cc )

 

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Alex Ainley

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Hayden Parker

23. Matt Faddes

 

Unavailable due to injury: Mark Reddish (shoulder), Marty Banks (hamstring)

 

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

The Pulse Energy Highlanders will play the NSW Waratahs in Queenstown this Friday,the game will complete the Highlanders three match preseason. So far the record is a loss and a draw, one week out from the opening fixture against the Blues the team will be looking for a strong performance against last year’s semi-finalists.

Head coach Jamie Joseph has named a strong combination to take the field with all three World Cup All Blacks taking the field for the first time in 2016.Also having their first matches for 2016 as will be Fumiaki Tanaka and Hayden Parker, back from their championship winning efforts with Panasonic in Japan. Parkers return will see Marty Banks rested this week.

In his debut for the Highlanders powerful Canterbury midfielder Rob Thompson will combine with Malakai Fekitoa and the All Black pairing of Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga will be the pivots. Dan Pryor is recovered from his knee injury and will take his place on the bench with co-captain Shane Christie taking a break this week.

Pulse Energy Highlanders v NSW Waratahs, Queenstown Recreation Centre, Friday 19th February - kick-off 6.00pm

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Josh Hohneck

4.   Tom Franklin

5.   Joe Wheeler

6.   Luke Whitelock

7.   James Lentjes

8.   Liam Squire

9.   Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( c )

Reserves

16. Ash Dixon

17. Brendon Edmonds

18. Ross Geldenhuys

19. Mark Reddish

20. Gareth Evans

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Elliot Dixon

23. Jason Emery

24. Teihorangi Walden

25. Matt Faddes

26. Hayden Parker

27. Dan Pryor

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

END