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Speights Highlanders to play the Rebels

28 May 2021

A tumultuous week will end with the Highlanders playing in the bustling western suburbs of Sydney rather than the  tranquillity of Queenstown. Due to the recently extended travel ban between NZ and Australia the Highlanders will be jumping on a plane, not a bus, for their third-round fixture against the Melbourne Rebels.

A slightly refreshed look to the team sees Ethan De Groot, Josh Dickson and James Lentjes come into the starting squad while Jeff Thwaites and Manaaki Selby-Rickit come onto the bench. A rare start for Liam Coltman means inspirational leader Ash Dixon will make his impact from the bench.

James Lentjes will play his 50th game for the Highlanders after making his debut against the Stormers in 2015, going on to play in both the semi-final and final for that Championship winning side. Lentjes who was the Captain in 2020 is known as a rugged loose forward with a high work rate.

Highlanders v Rebels, 5.00pm NZT, 30 May, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

1.   Ethan De Groot

2.   Liam Coltman

3.   Siate Tokolahi

4.   Pari Pari Parkinson

5.   Josh Dickson

6.   Shannon Frizell

7.   James Lentjes*

8.   Hugh Renton 

9.   Aaron Smith (cc)

10. Mitch Hunt

11  Jona Nareki

12. Scott Gregory

13. Michael Collins

14. Patelesio Tomkinson

15. Josh Ioane



16. Ash Dixon (cc)

17. Ayden Johnstone

18. Jeff Thwaites

19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit

20. Kazuki Himeno

21. Kayne Hammington

22. Ngatungane Punivai

23. Billy Harmon


Unavailable due to injury: Sam Gilbert (Hamstring)

Season ending injuries: Jermaine Ainsley (ankle), Fetuli Paea (ankle), Freedom Vahaakalo (foot), Folau Fakatava (knee), Thomas Umaga-Jensen (wrist), Connor Garden-Bachop (hand), Liam Squire (knee), Marino Mikaele Tu’u (leg), Caleb Makene (leg), Josh Timu (ankle), Saula Mau (Knee)

*50th Highlanders game




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