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

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