Highlanders v Reds - Super Rugby match preview

Last Updated: 29/03/13 9:08am

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The Highlanders have made three changes to their line-up as they look to register their first win of the season against the Reds on Friday.

The Otago-based franchise have been turned over twice by the defending champions, the Chiefs, while also suffering losses to the Hurricanes and the Cheetahs.

Coach Jamie Joseph will be buoyed by the return of experienced front-row duo Andrew Hore and Tony Woodcock, though, with Liam Coltman and Ma'afu Fia dropping to the bench.

In the backs, Buxton Popoalii comes in on the wing as Kade Poki has been ruled out with a rib injury.

The Reds have made wholesale changes as they bid to win in Dunedin for the first time.

Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Liam Gill and Rob Simmons all return to the starting XV following the 23-18 win over the Bulls.

Digby Ioane, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Saia Faingaa, Nick Frisby and Mike Harris are among the players missing from the match-day squad through injury.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Buxton Popoalii, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 John Hardie, 6 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn (c), 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 TJ Ioane, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Lima Sopoaga, 22 Phil Burleigh.

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Aidan Toua, 22 Rod Davies.

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