Aaron Smith rested for Highlanders, Kayne Hammington starts his 50th

Aaron Smith rested for Highlanders, Kayne Hammington starts his 50th

The Highlanders return to Forsyth Barr Stadium for their last round-robin home game of the season knowing that nothing less than a win will do to keep them in the hunt for a finals spot. 

Shannon Frizell is ruled out with an ankle injury sustained during the Rebels match that will sideline him for up to six weeks. After a heavy workload halfback and co-captain Aaron Smith gets a rest under the All Blacks load protocols providing Kayne Hammington with the opportunity to play his 50th game for the Highlanders.

In other changes, Bryn Evans, returns to the pack and the well-performed Kazuki Himeno and Billy Harmon start in the loose trio with James Lentjes moving to the blindside. Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Hohneck and Teariki Ben-Nicholas refresh the forwards reserves.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged and in the reserves Sam Gilbert returns from injury and Otago halfback, James Arscott, will potentially debut off the bench.

Highlanders v Waratahs - Saturday 5 June, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

1.   Ethan De Groot

2.   Ash Dixon (c)

3.   Siate Tokolahi

4.   Pari Pari Parkinson

5.   Bryn Evans

6.   James Lentjes

7.   Billy Harmon

8.   Kazuki Himeno

9.   Kayne Hammington*

10. Mitch Hunt

11  Jona Nareki

12. Scott Gregory

13. Michael Collins

14. Patelesio Tomkinson

15. Josh Ioane



16. Liam Coltman

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Josh Hohneck

19. Josh Dickson

20. Hugh Renton

21. James Arscott

22. Sam Gilbert


23. Teariki Ben-Nicholas


*50th Highlanders match



Unavailable due to injury: Jermaine Ainsley (ankle), Fetuli Paea (ankle), Freedom Vaahakalo (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), Shannon Frizell (ankle), Ayden Johnstone (foot).

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