Highlanders named for Gordon Hunter Memorial match

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This weekend, alongside playing for points in Super Rugby Pacific we will also be playing for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy. Gordon Hunter coached both the Highlanders and the Blues before passing away in 2002 and the teams have been playing for the trophy since then.


The first few rounds have been frustrating for the team however this weekend provides a fresh opportunity for the team to put on a complete performance.   


Coach Tony Brown said about the results so far, “everyone is trying really hard and is frustrated that we are not executing the way we should, but it’s not from lack of effort or lack of intent, so we are focusing on making sure that when we get the opportunities, we are patient and calm and that we execute under pressure.”


Aaron Smith returns to the team as captain and starting halfback, Scott Gregory comes into the midfield and Ngatungane Punivai comes onto the bench for the first time this season.



Manaaki Selby–Rickit and Bryn Evans continue to rotate in the second row while Josh Dickson, the regular starting lock, holds onto the number 5 jersey. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u earns his first start for the 2022 season and will add some energy to the back of the scrum. Mosese Dawai also returns to the team this week.


Brown commented that, “Moses had a tough debut in difficult conditions in Queenstown and we just needed to give him time to get his confidence back. We feel he is back to where he should be and are looking forward to getting him out there and showing everyone what he can do.”


Highlanders vs Blues. – 7:05 Friday 11th March, Auckland


1.Ethan De Groot
2.Liam Coltman
3. Jermaine Ainsley
4.Manaaki Selby – Rickit
5.Josh Dickson
6. Shannon Frizell
7. Gareth Evans
8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u
9. Aaron Smith ©
10. Mitch Hunt
11. Mosese Dawai
12. Thomas Umaga Jensen
13. Scott Gregory
14. Liam Coombes Fabling
15. Connor Garden Bachop


16. Rhys Marshall
17. Daniel Lienert-Brown
18. Josh Hohneck
19. Bryn Evans
20. Hugh Renton
21. Folau Fakatava
22. Marty Banks
23. Ngatungane Punivai

Injured: Andrew Makalio, Josh Timu



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