Cape Town - Highlanders coach Tony Brown has named his team for Friday’s Super Rugby encounter against the Stormers in Dunedin.
Brown made a few changes to the team that beat the Sunwolves 40-15 in Invercargill last week.
The Highlanders have lost a couple of key cogs to their pack in the form of Luke Whitelock and Elliot Dixon.
Whitelock has been struck down with concussion-type symptoms, while Dixon - a late scratching for that game due to a knee infection - has not recovered in time.
Losing the duo leaves five Highlanders loose forwards on the injury list, with Dan Pryor (knee), Shane Christie (illness) and James Lentjes (elbow) also still unavailable.
In another blow, midfielder Richard Buckman has been ruled out with an Achilles injury, leaving Malakai Fekitoa to revert to his preferred outside centre position, while inside centre Rob Thompson will make his first appearance since a family bereavement last month.
The Highlanders will again have to get by without flyhalf Lima Sopoaga, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, while wing Patrick Osborne will play his 50th game for the men from Otago.
Kick-off for Friday’s clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes
15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Shaun Treeby, 23 Bjorn Basson