Highlanders v Brumbies: Teams
At Carisbrook, Dunedin, Friday, April 1, Kick-off: 07.35 BST
Last Updated: 31/03/11 11:09am
Slade: Set for first start
Highlanders and Brumbies have rung the changes for Friday's Super Rugby tussle at Carisbrook.
Colin Slade will make his first league start for the Highlanders as the men from Dunedin play hosts in Invercargill.
Robbie Robinson is the man to lose out as Slade replaces him at fly-half, while there is also a return to action for Kade Poki for the rested Super Rugby outfit, who are looking to arrest their two-match losing run.
It's an all-new front-row from the one that lost to the Crusaders last time out as Chris King, Jason Rutledge and captain Jamie Mackintosh return in front of Tom Donnelly and Jarrad Hoeata.
The Highlanders will hope their bye week works in their favour as they face a Brumbies side coming off the back of a derby defeat to the Waratahs.
And the visitors will give Adam Ashley-Cooper a start on the left wing in one several changes made to the side beaten in the dying seconds to their bitter rivals last weekend.
In the backs, Ashley-Cooper is shifted upfield in place of Franky Fainifo, who moves to the bench, while Matt Toomua will occupy the fullback position.
Salesi Ma'afu gets his first start at tighthead, with Dan Palmer being rested on the bench, and is joined in the front-row by Ben Alexander and Huia Edmonds, while Anthony Hegarty fills the hooking-bench position again.
At flanker, Peter Kimlin moves into the starting XV for Colby Faingaa who will be looking to make an impact from the bench having committing another two years with Brumbies Rugby earlier in the week.
On the bench, Tyrone Smith has earned his first crack at Super Rugby in 2011, making way for Robbie Coleman who will be rested this weekend.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Siale Piutau, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (capt).
Replacements: 16 Mo Schwalger, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Tony Brown, 22 James Paterson.
Brumbies: 15 Matt Toomua. 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Salesi Maafu, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Dan Palmer, 18 Colby Faingaa, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Tyrone Smith, 22 Franky Fainifo.