Super Rugby

Highlanders rest All Blacks star for Sunwolves clash

Ben Smith (Getty)
Ben Smith (Getty)

Cape Town - Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has retained most of his starting XV to face the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Friday, but they will be without a rested Ben Smith.

Matt Faddes moves to fullback to cover for Smith while Sio Tomkinson starts on the wing to accommodate the return of Rob Thompson at outside centre. All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith also returns to the starting line-up, having featured on the bench last week.

Up front, the free-scoring Shannon Frizell makes way for the captain Luke Whitelock at No 6, with Elliot Dixon retaining his spot at No 8 following some good form over the last few weeks.

The bench will have a six/two split with Dillon Hunt being included in the forwards mix, while Kayne Hammington and Bryn Gatland will cover the backs.

The Highlanders will be eager to build on last week’s home win over the Blues that ended a run of six games without a victory.

Kick-off for Friday's clash is scheduled for 12:00 (SA time).

Teams:

Sunwolves

TBA

Highlanders

15 Matt Faddes, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Luke Whitelock (captain), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Dillon Hunt

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