The Highlanders will host the Hurricanes on Friday when they kick off Round 5 of New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Hurricanes are at the moment stone last with 1 log point with the Highlanders in third position with 5 points after three matches.
Here is the Full Log Standings:
This has now become a crucial weekend for both teams to stay in the hunt more so for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes fans will be please the see their captain Dane Coles returning to the starting lineup for this one after missing the opening rounds due to a calf strain.
He had a good run last week against the Chiefs getting 25 minutes in on the park and will be a huge boost for the Hurricanes in this away fixture.
Coles is one of three changes made by coach Jason Holland to his starting XV.
Scott Scrafton returns to the second row after he recovered from and ankle injury and he will partner Isaia Walker-Leawere for this weekend.
Wes Goosen also return to the wing replacing Julian Savea. On the left Rayasi has been name again to start after his impressive performance last week.
n the bench Ruben Love will make his debut when he come on the field later in the match.
Holland told the media that the team came together in a positive frame of mind following their disappointment against the Chiefs last week.
They believe that they are not far for getting it right and the whole squad is positive for this weekend clash.
The Highlanders comes into this match a bit fresher than their opponents having had a bye last weekend.
They will welcome Pari Pari Parkinson after a long injury layoff and he will partner Bryn Evans in the second row.
Ayden Johnstone will get some time on the park from the bench after he also return from a log injury layoff.
Also on the bench Japanese World Cup star Kazuki Vahaakolo will get his first chance later in the match.
The Highlanders also have Mitch Hunt returning to the number 10 jumper for this weekend with Josh Ioane at fullback.
Thomas Umaga-Jensen will star from the bench and may play against his twin brother Peter who was named in the Hurricanes side.
Aaron Smith will play in his 154thappearance for the the Highlanders, making him the clubs most capped player ever passing Ben Smith record.
Make sure not to miss this game which is always a high tempo entertaining match.
It will be broadcast live on SuperSport Friday at 0800
Predictions: Highlanders have been very good at home in recent years and it is no easy pace to come and play. We believe they will put some more misery on the Hurricanes, Highlanders b 6
Highlanders: 15 Josh Ioane, 14 Freedom Vahaakolo, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Patelesio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Pari Pari Parkinson, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Kazuki Himeno, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 23 Connor Garden-Bachop.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Scott Scrafton, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Ruben Love.