Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named the team to take on the reigning champions the Chiefs in Dunedin on Friday. All three All Blacks along with Patrick Osborne, who joined the All Black’s squad as injury cover, have returned to the starting line-up and both Brayden Mitchell and Tom Franklin have played their way into the starting team after stellar performances in Invercargill against the Barbarians. Lee Allen comes onto the bench to cover for TJ Ioane who picked up an ankle injury during training this week.

A win is imperative for the Highlanders over the eighth placed Chiefs to enhance their play-off prospects. A good crowd is expected at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night to welcome Super Rugby back after the June test window.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin – Friday 27 June, 7.35pm (NZT)

1 - Kane Hames
2 - Brayden Mitchell
3 - Ma’afu Fia
4 - Tom Franklin
5 - Joe Wheeler
6 - Elliot Dixon
7 - Shane Christie
8 - Nasi Manu (co-captain)
9 - Aaron Smith
10 - Lima Sopoaga
11 - Patrick Osborne
12 - Shaun Treeby
13 - Malakai Fekitoa
14 - Richard Buckman
15 - Ben Smith (co-captain)

16 – Ged Robinson
17 – Matias Diaz
18 – Chris King
19 – Josh Bekhuis
20 – Lee Allan
21 – Fumiaki Tanaka
22 – Hayden Parker
23 – Phil Burleigh

Head Coach – Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches – Tony Brown and Scott McLeod

Skills Coach – Jon Preston

Manager – Graham Purvis

Injury update: Kurt Baker – hamstring (season), Craig Millar – shoulder (season), Buxton Popoalii – heart (season), Brad Thorn – bicep (season), Frae Wilson – knee (TBC – awaiting scan results) and John Hardie – knee (TBC – awaiting scan results).


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