SQUAD VS CHIEFS RELEASE Website Tile 1500 938 ">

Highlanders named for clash with top-of-the-table Chiefs

3 May 2023

The Highlanders take on the top of the table Chiefs after returning from their Australian road trip. While results didn’t go the Highlanders way there is still plenty to play for over the remaining rounds as play offs loom.

Captain Billy Harmon returns to the forward pack after missing the Waratahs match and lock Josh Dickson returns to the playing twenty-three. A reshuffle in the backline has Sam Gilbert returning to fullback and Thomas Umaga-Jensen to the midfield while Jonah Lowe makes way for Connor Garden-Bachop on the wing.

Freddie Burns will take the reins from Mitch Hunt for his first start at first-five. The accomplished Burns has a strong kicking game and showed glimpses of his running ability against the Force. He is well used to the pressure of a big home game having 300 first class games under his belt. 

Coach Clarke Dermody is glad to be home after a tough few games on the road:

“We didn’t get what we wanted from the last two rounds away, so we are delighted to be at home this week with our destiny still in our own hands. It’s a great opportunity for our players to deliver their best against the frontrunners in this competition. We have had some close contests over the years against the Chiefs so we will be working hard to give our home fans something to shout about on Friday night.”

Highlander v Chiefs – 7:05pm, Friday 5th May, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

  1. Ethan de Groot
  2. Andrew Makalio
  3. Jermaine Ainsley
  4. Fabian Holland
  5. Will Tucker
  6. Shannon Frizell
  7. Billy Harmon (C)
  8. Hugh Renton
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Freddie Burns
  11. Scott Gregory
  12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen
  13. Fetuli Paea
  14. Connor Garden-Bachop
  15. Sam Gilbert

Reserves: 16. Rhys Marshall 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown 18. Saula Ma’u 19. Josh Dickson 20. Sean Withy 21. Folau Fakatava 22. Mitch Hunt 23. Jona Nareki

Not Available due to injury: Vili Koroi (knee) Marty Banks (groin) Jeff Thwaites (back) Josh Timu (leg) Jake Te Hiwi (ankle) Cameron Millar (ankle)




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