The Highlanders have made ten positional and personnel changes to the team that was humbled by the Hurricanes in Napier. The front row is completely changed and features Daniel Lienert-Brown in his first run on game for the season, Joe Latta will also have his first game in the starting fifteen. In the back row Elliot Dixon moves to blindside, Dan Pryor returns at number eight and Gareth Evans moves to the bench. Young Otago lock, Jackson Hemopo, comes into the playing 23 for the injured Tom Franklin in what will be his debut for the Highlanders.

In the backs, Shaun Treeby, will play his 50th game for the franchise and he will partner the versatile Richard Buckman in the centre as Malakai Fekitoa has a groin injury that will sideline him for this week. All Blacks Ben and Aaron Smith return as does form winger Patrick Osborne reuniting the lethal back three of Naholo, Smith and Osborne.

Blues v Highlanders, Eden Park, Auckland - Friday 12th June, 7.35pm
1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
2. Liam Coltman
3. Josh Hohneck
4. Alex Ainley
5. Joe Latta
6. Elliot Dixon
7. John Hardie
8. Dan Pryor
9. Aaron Smith
10. Lima Sopoaga
11. Patrick Osborne
12. Shaun Treeby
13. Richard Buckman
14. Waisake Naholo
15. Ben Smith (c)

16. Ash Dixon
17. Brendon Edmonds
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Jackson Hemopo
20. Gareth Evans
21. Fumiaki Tanaka
22. Marty Banks
23. Kurt Baker

Unavailable: Shane Christie (hamstring), Hayden Parker (shoulder), Joe Wheeler (knee), Kane Hames (knee), Mark Reddish (hand), Nasi Manu (shoulder), Malakai Fekitoa(groin)

Head Coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant Coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Team Manager: Paul McLaughlan

SupeRugby logo header speights min 2 Degrees logo v2 University of Otago logo Swanndri  Coresteel Blis placemakers new logo banner 104 Adidas Logo Small min