Highlanders v Brumbies - Super Rugby match preview
Last Updated: 12/04/13 10:51am
The struggling Highlanders have made six changes as they look to snap their losing run in Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies.
All Blacks duo Aaron Smith and Colin Slade are among the players to make way as Jamie Joseph's side bid to win their first game this season.
Jason Emery, Buxton Popuali'i and Chris King also make way, with Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Phil Burleigh, Kade Poki, Ma'afu Fia and TJ Ioane all starting.
Ioane's first start means Jarrad Hoeata moves back into the engine room alongside Brad Thorn.
Jordan Smiler will make his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies in Dunedin.
The 27-year-old previously played for Waikato and on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit before moving to Australia in the off season.
Smiler is one of six changes made by the Brumbies following the shock draw with the Southern Kings last time out.
Matt Toomua (fly-half), Jesse Mogg (full-back), Andrew Smith (outside centre), Sam Carter (lock) and Stephen Moore (hooker) all return to the starting XV, with Tevita Kuridrani, Pat McCabe and Fotu Auelua dropping to the bench.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 John Hardie, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Chris King, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Jason Emery.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Tevita Kuridrani.