Highlanders makes shock midfield choice as Josh Ioane returns to the fold for Chiefs rematch

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Regardless of placing out their finest efficiency of the 12 months in opposition to the Crusaders final weekend, Tony Brown has made important modifications to the Highlanders for his or her rematch with the Chiefs.

Brown has recurrently tinkered together with his aspect via this 12 months’s Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa competitors, making seven modifications on common from week to week.

He’s technically bucked the pattern barely for Saturday’s match with the Chiefs, making simply six swaps.

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Within the forwards, Josh Hohneck rotates with Siate Tokolahi – who’d began each match this season thus far – and James Lentjes is available in for former Crusader Billy Harmon.

Japan worldwide Kazuki Himeno maintains his spot at quantity eight after an lively efficiency in opposition to the Crusaders. The evergreen Bryn Evans will lock the scrum with Pari Pari Parkinson and Hugh Renton will once more be the sixth ahead on the reserves bench.

Within the backs, Aaron Smith will co-captain the aspect and his again up at halfback will likely be Kayne Hammington who replaces the unfortunate Folau Fakatava, who’s set to spend the rest of the 12 months on the sidelines following a significant ACL harm suffered in final weekend’s win.

Outdoors again Scott Gregory, who had maybe his finest efficiency in a Highlanders jersey final week, will transfer to the midfield to exchange the injured Thomas Umaga-Jensen and he will likely be partnered by Patelesio Tomkinson at centre.

Ngatugnane Punivai, in the meantime, is over his hamstring subject and takes his place on the fitting wing.

Josh Ioane, one in all six gamers who have been unavailable for choice final weekend following a breach of staff protocol, returns to the reserves. Tomkinson is the one different participant from that sextet who has returned to the fold to face the Crusaders.

The Highlanders scored a major 39-23 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton earlier this season regardless of being down by 19 factors late within the first half.

Taking part in beneath the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday, the ball will undoubtedly be given loads of air as the house aspect search for their third win of the competitors.

Highlanders: Connor Backyard-Bachop, Ngatungane Punivai, Patelesio Tomkinson, Scott Gregory, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith, Kazuki Himeno, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Pari Pari Parkinson, Bryn Evans, Josh Hohneck, Ash Dixon, Ethan de Groot. Reserves: Liam Coltman, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Josh Dickson, Billy Harmon, Kayne Hammington, Josh Ioane, Hugh Renton.

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