Fresh off the bye and a first-round win against the Chiefs, Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger, has made only one change to his squad, Scott Gregory replacing Vilimoni Koroi at fullback, in what will be his second game for the club.
Hooker Ash Dixon captains the side and is joined at front row by Ayden Johnstone and Siate Tokolahi. Paripari Parkinson and Josh Dickson commands the engine room at second row, with the trio of Shannon Frizzell, Dillon Hunt and Marino Mikaele Tu’u starting at back row in six, seven and eight respectively.
All Blacks number nine Aaron Smith starts alongside Mitch Hunt at halfback, with Patelesio Tomkinson teaming up alongside Rob Thompson in midfield. Wingers Jona Nareki and Sam Gilbert joins Scott Gregory to form the back three.
Highlanders Team: 1. Ayden Johnstone 2. Ash Dixon (c) 3. Siate Tokolahi 4. Paripari Parkinson 5. Josh Dickson 6. Shannon Frizell 7. Dillon Hunt 8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u 9. Aaron Smith 10. Mitch Hunt 11. Jona Nareki 12. Patelesio Tomkinson 13. Rob Thompson 14. Sam Gilbert 15. Scott Gregory
Reserves: 16. Liam Colman 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown 18. Jeff Thwaites 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit 20. Teariki Ben-Nicholas 21. Kayne Hammington 22. Bryn Gatland 23. Ngane Punivai