The Speight’s Highlanders return off the bye and head to the capital to take on the Hurricanes on Friday night in their last game of the Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa competiton with a team that is largely unchanged from the team that decisively dispatched the Blues at home in round 8.

The only change in the forward pack comes in the front row where Ethan de Groot claims the starting loosehead prop position and Ayden Johnstone rotates back to the bench. In the backs, Ngatungane Punivai is unavailable due to a reccuring leg injury but is replaced by Sam Gilbert on the right wing who is returning from a 9-month injury hiatus and has been selected following good club rugby performances. The only other change on the bench sees Hugh Renton come in for Marino Mikaele-Tu who is unavailable due to a lower leg injury.

The Highlanders will be hoping to continue their form from round 8 and carry it through this last round before heading into the Trans-Tasman competiton where they will play the opening round at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin against the in-form Queensland Reds on Friday 14th May.

Hurricanes v Highlanders - 7.05pm, Friday 30thApril, Sky Stadium, Wellington

1.  Ethan De Groot

2.   Ash Dixon (cc)

3.   Siate Tokolahi

4.   Bryn Evans

5.   Josh Dickson

6.   Shannon Frizell

7.   Billy Harmon

8.   Kazuki Himeno   

9.   Aaron Smith (cc)

10. Mitch Hunt

11  Jona Nareki

12. Scott Gregory

13. Patelesio Tomkinson

14. Sam Gilbert

15. Josh Ioane

 

RESERVES

16. Liam Coltman

17. Ayden Johnstone

18. Josh Hohneck

19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit

20. Hugh Renton

21. Kayne Hammington

22. Michael Collins

23. James Lentjes

Unavailable due to injury: Daniel Lienert-Brown (arm), Ngatungane Punivai (upper leg)

Season ending injuries: Jermaine Ainsley (ankle), Fetuli Paea (ankle), Freedom Vaahakalo (foot), Folau Fakatava (knee), Thomas Umaga-Jensen (wrist), Connor Garden-Bachop (wrist), Liam Squire (knee), Marino Mikaele-Tu (lower leg)

ENDS

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