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Highlanders named to play Fijian Drua

23 March 2023

The Highlanders have named an unchanged backline and welcome back an experienced locking duo for its fifth round-match against exciting Fijian Drua team.

Josh Dickson and Pari Pari Parkinson return to bolster the pack and the in-form Hugh Renton will get his third start at the back. Leni Apisai gets a start at hooker for the injured Andrew Makalio while Saula Ma’u, Will Tucker and James Lentjes all return from injury to take their place on the bench.

The same backline will run out following an improved effort last week. Argentine international, Martin Bogado was in the thick of everything against the Force and will be keen for further opportunities against the Drua under the roof. Youngster Jake Te Hiwi, who had a good first outing against the Chiefs in round three, will get another opportunity from the bench.

Coach Clarke Dermody is delighted to be back home at Forsyth Barr Stadium:

“It was good to get a win in front of a supportive crowd in Invercargill last weekend and the guys are excited to get back out under the roof and put on a good performance against a dangerous Drua side on Saturday.”

This Saturday’s game will be the first time the Fijian Drua have played the Highlanders under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium and only the second time the two teams have met.

Highlanders v Fijian Drua – 4:35pm, Saturday 25th March, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

  1. Ethan de Groot
  2. Leni Apisai
  3. Jermaine Ainsley
  4. Pari Pari Parkinson
  5. Josh Dickson
  6. Sean Withy
  7. Billy Harmon (C)
  8. Hugh Renton
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Mitch Hunt
  11. Jonah Lowe
  12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen
  13. Josh Timu
  14. Martin Bogado
  15. Sam Gilbert

Reserves: 16. Jack Taylor 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown 18. Saula Ma’u 19. Will Tucker 20. James Lentjes 21. Folau Fakatava 22. Cameron Millar 23. Jake Te Hiwi 

Not Available due to injury: Marty Banks (groin) Freddie Burns (knee) Mosese Dawai (knee) Shannon Frizell (hip) Scott Gregory (knee) Fabian Holland (hamstring) Vili Koroi (knee) Andrew Makalio (concussion) Rhys Marshall (Concussion) Marino Mikaele Tu’u (ribs) Jona Nareki (foot) Jeff Thwaites (back)




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