Highlanders name largely unchanged line-up to face Hurricanes

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Siate Tokolahi will play his 50th game for the Highlanders after making his debut in 2017 following two seasons with the Chiefs. The Tongan born Tokolahi has recently announced his signing with the Southland Stags and returns to the starting front row with co-captain Ash Dixon and Ayden Johnstone.


Scott Gregory also returns to the starting side on the right wing in place of the injured Ngatungane Punivai. In the forwards, lock Jack Whetton, earns a start after an impressive showing off the bench against the Crusaders. Whetton replaced the well performed Josh Dickson who sustained a broken leg and will unfortunately have to sit out the rest of the Super Rugby season. A 6:2 forwards to backs bench split gives Manaaki Selby-Rickit an opportunity this week alongside Jesse Parete and Teariki Ben-Nicholas while Kayne Hammington and Bryn Gatland will cover the backs.


“This is clearly an important match for both teams and our focus will be on converting the opportunities we create” said Head Coach Aaron Mauger.


“Our record in Wellington hasn’t been great in recent times so we are under no illusions about the difficulty of playing the Hurricanes in Wellington, we have shown a lot of resolve in the last month or so, but we will need to be at our best again”



Hurricanes v Pulse Energy Highlanders – 3.35pm, Sunday 12 July, Sky Stadium, Wellington


1. Ayden Johnstone

2. Ash Dixon (cc)

3. Siate Tokolahi

4. Pari Pari Parkinson

5. Jack Whetton

6. Shannon Frizell

7. Dillon Hunt

8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u

9. Aaron Smith (cc)

10. Mitch Hunt

11. Jona Nareki

12. Patelesio Tomkinson

13. Rob Thompson

14. Scott Gregory

15. Michael Collins



16. Liam Coltman

17. Daniel Lienert-Brown

18. Jeff Thwaites

19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit

20. Jesse Parete

21. Kayne Hammington

22. Bryn Gatland

23. Teariki Ben-Nicholas


Unavailable due to injury: Josh Ioane (quad), Nehe Milner-Skudder (shoulder), Ngatungane Punivai (concussion), Nathan Vella (concussion), 


Season ending injuries: Josh Dickson (leg), Conor Garden-Bachop (back), Sam Gilbert (knee), James Lentjes (ankle), Sione Misiloi (foot), Tevita Nabura (back), Thomas Umaga-Jensen (shoulder)



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