Adam Thomson on the
openside flank, Nick Crosswell on the other side of the scrum
and Ben Smith at fullback are the main features of the
Highlanders side named to take on the Blues in Balclutha
The side will undoubtedly change throughout the match, which
will be played in four 20-minute quarters, but it is a game
that undoubtedly carries plenty of importance for the
New coach Jamie Joseph will want to start his coaching career
with a solid performance and has picked some of his key men
to start the game.
Colin Slade, who looms as a big player for the franchise,
will wear the No10 jersey and will have Wellington youngster
Shaun Treeby and Counties-Manukau centre Siale Piutau outside
Thomson has the ability to play all three loose forward
positions and with versatility bound to be a key for national
selection, will be keen to show his ability in the No7
Crosswell gets a start after a disrupted season last year
with injuries and will want to make the most of his time on
Jamie Mackintosh and Jason Rutledge provide the experience in
the front row and David Te Moana will pack down beside them.
The Highlanders have five props in their squad and with one
of them a captain, the other four players are in a tough
battle to get the other starting position.
Ben Smith gets first crack at trying to fill the shoes of the
departed Israel Dagg, with the likes of Robbie Robinson and
Telusa Veainu bound to get time off the bench.
The Blues have plenty of firepower in their backline with
former national sevens representative Sherwin Stowers keen to
link up with former All Blacks Benson Stanley and Luke
Former Otago players Chris Smylie, Toby Morland and Aaron
Bancroft will all be wearing the Blues' colours. The match
will be refereed by Aucklander and former Otago whistler
HIGHLANDERS v BLUES
- Tomorrow, 12.30pm, Balclutha.
• HIGHLANDERS: Ben Smith, James Paterson, Siale
Piutau, Shaun Treeby, Kade Poki, Colin Slade, Aaron Smith,
Nasi Manu, Adam Thomson, Nick Crosswell, Joe Tuineau, Jarrad
Hoeata, David Te Moana, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh
Reserves: Brayden Mitchell, Bronson Murray,
Halani Aulika, John Hardie, Josh Bekhius, Alando Soakai, Sean
Romans, Lima Sopoaga, Matt Saunders, Kendrick Lynn, Telusa
Veainu, Robbie Robinson.
• BLUES: Jared Payne, Lachie Munro, Benson Stanley,
Luke McAlister, Sherwin Stowers, Stephen Brett, Chris Smylie,
Chris Lowrey, Luke Braid, Peter Saili, Filo Paulo, Kurtis
Haiu, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau.
Reserves: Ash Dixon, Pauliasi Manu, James King,
Sean Polwart, Mat Luamanu, Toby Morland, Winston Stanley,
Nafi Tuitavake, Auvasa Faleali'i, Gareth Anscombe, Aaron