Ioane to start against Chiefs, Smith in reserves

Josh Ioane. Photo: Getty Images
Josh Ioane. Photo: Getty Images
Aaron Smith will come off the bench, while Josh Ioane moves into the starting line-up as the Highlanders face the Chiefs on Friday.

Smith has been replaced by the dynamic Folau Fakatava at halfback, who impressed off the bench in last year's Super Rugby Aotearoa opener against the Crusaders.

Meanwhile, Ioane will put on the first five-eighth jersey and Mitch Hunt moves back to fullback, where both finished the game last week.

Solomon Alaimalo drops back to the bench.

The starting forward pack remains the same, although Manaaki Selby-Rickit comes into the reserves for Bryn Evans.

The game kicks off at FMG Stadium Waikato at 7.05pm.

Highlanders 

Starting XV: Mitch Hunt, Connor Garden-Bachop, Ngatungane Punivai, Patelesio Tomkinson, Jona Nareki, Josh Ioane, Folau Fakatava, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Billy Harmon, Shannon Frizell, Jack Regan, Josh Dickson, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon, Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Reserves: Liam Coltman, Josh Hohneck, Jeff Thwaites, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Liam Squire, Aaron Smith, Solomon Alaimalo, Hugh Renton.

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