Second-string Highlanders side in action today

The Highlanders Bravehearts - the second-string Highlanders side - will get their first hit-out of three this afternoon when they take on the Crusaders Knights in Christchurch.

The Bravehearts have some interesting selections, fielding six players from the contracted Highlanders squad along with a mix of Otago and Southland players, youngsters and players from Japan.

Matt Faddes is named at fullback while Josh McKay, who played for the Highlanders on the wing last week in their loss to the Rebels, will play at first five-eighth.

McKay played all his school rugby in the No10 jersey and was a star at Christchurch Boys' High School. He played first five-eighth and fullback for the New Zealand schools team in 2015.

The side will also include lock Jack Whetton and prop Siate Tokolahi who continues to work his way back from a serious knee injury.

The Bravehearts will be captained by openside flanker Dillon Hunt, who is in a tight contest with James Lentjes, to wear the No7 jersey for the Highlanders.

Otago players Dylan Nel, Slade McDowall and Ricky Jackson will play in the forward pack. Jackson had his first taste of Super Rugby last week, when coming on near the end against the Rebels.

Promising youngsters Sam Dickson, Willie Kirkwood and George Witana are on the bench.

The side is coached by Tom Donnelly and Seilala Mapusua.

The two seams will play at the Christchurch Rugby Club this afternoon before coming back and meeting in a curtain-raiser to the match between the Highlanders and the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium next Saturday.

The other game for the Highlanders Bravehearts is against Japan A on April 5. That game will be a curtain-raiser to the Highlanders-Hurricanes game at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Knights v Bravehearts
Christchurch, today, 1.30pm
Knights:
Bravehearts: Matt Faddes, Isaak Te Tamaki, Matt Whaanga, Ray Nu’u, Yongwho Kim, Josh McKay, Folau Fakatava, Dylan Nel, Dillon Hunt (captain), Slade McDowall, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Jack Whetton, Siate Tokolahi, Ricky Jackson, Sef Fa’agase. Reserves: Masaki Midiorikawa, Ethan De Groot, Hisa Sasagi, Willie Kirkwood, Sam Dickson, Tatsuya Hamano, George Witana, Mitch Scott.

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