Highlanders v Hurricanes - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 15/03/13 8:11am

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The Highlanders welcome Colin Slade back to the starting XV for Friday's clash with the Hurricanes.

Slade, who made his return to action off the bench in the 29-28 loss to the Cheetahs, replaces Lima Sopoaga at fly-half - with coach Jamie Joseph making five changes in total.

There will be a Super Rugby debut for Jason Emery in the centres, while in the pack Chris King, Jarrad Hoeata and Elliot Dixon all start.

There is a further alteration on the bench as TJ Ioane comes into the match-day squad for the first time.

Bench

The Hurricanes have made two changes to their line up for the clash in Dunedin.

James Marshall is preferred at full-back to Andre Taylor, with last season's joint-top try-scorer dropping to the bench.

Up front Ben May starts at tighthead prop, with Jeffery Toomaga-Allen injuring his sternum. Toomaga-Allen has been bracketed on the bench with Reggie Goodes.

Toomaga-Allen faces a late fitness test alongside hooker Motu Matu'u, who is doubtful with a shoulder injury. Ash Dixon is on standby to start.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Andrew Hore (capt), 3 Chris King, 4 Brad Thorn, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 6 Joe Wheeler, 7 John Hardie, 8 Elliot Dixon.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Jake Paringatai, 19 TJ Ioane, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Lima Sopoaga, 22 Buxton Popoalii

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Motu Matu'u / Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 tbc, 17 Reggie Goodes/Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 Andre Taylor.

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