Highlanders make changes for Crusaders clash

Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman on the charge against the Bulls earlier this month at Forsyth...
Liam Coltman returns to the Highlanders' starting line-up this weekend. Photo: ODT files
The Highlanders will have a different front row and changes out wide for their clash against the Crusaders on Saturday.

The team has made five changes to its starting line-up to play the Crusaders in the southern derby at Forsyth Barr Stadium in  Dunedin.

Daniel Lienert-Brown, Liam Coltman and Jeff Thwaites form a new front row, while the trio from last week drops to the bench.

Forwards coach Clarke Dermody said the side was lucky to have the depth to be able to make those changes.

“We are fortunate to have some depth in our front row so we have the ability to make changes, this is a tough competition and as always the Crusaders will present a real challenge on Saturday night."

Meanwhile, injured winger Sam Gilbert is replaced by promising utility Ngane Punivai, while Michael Collins comes in for Scott Gregory at fullback.

Aside from that the team remains unchanged from the one which was narrowly beaten a week ago by the unbeaten Blues at Eden Park.

The game kicks off at 7.05pm on Saturday.

HIGHLANDERS TEAM

Michael Collins, Ngane Punivai, Rob Thompson, Sio Tomkinson, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Dillon Hunt, Shannon Frizell, Josh Dickson, Paripari Parkinson, Jeff Thwaites, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Jack Whetton, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Kayne Hammington, Bryn Gatland, Vilimoni Koroi.

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