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All Black Shannon Frizell shifts to lock as Highlanders make mass changes

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Highlanders have made nine changes to their starting side as they look to return to winning ways against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday.

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While they’re looking for their first win in more than a month, the Highlanders have decided to rest a couple of their key All Blacks.

Test stars Ethan de Groot and Aaron Smith will not play this weekend, and fullback Sam Gilbert has also been rested after playing more than 700 minutes this season.

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Experienced campaigner Daniel Lienert-Brown takes his place in the starting side, and will pack down in the front row alongside hooker Andrew Makalio and prop Saula Ma’u.

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All Black Shannon Frizell shifts into the second row, and will line-up alongside Josh Dickson.

James Lentjes is the one other change in the forward pack, with the flanker set to form a backrow trio along with captain Billy Harmon and in-form No. 8 Hugh Renton.

Halfback Folau Fakatava replaces Aaron Smith in the starting side, and will partner former England playmaker Freddie Burns in the halves.

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Jona Nareki takes his spot on the left wing, while Connor Garden-Bachop shifts to fullback to replace Sam Gilbert.

Highlanders team to take on Brumbies

  1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  2. Andrew Makalio
  3. Saula Ma’u
  4. Shannon Frizell
  5. Josh Dickson
  6. James Lentjes
  7. Billy Harmon (c)
  8. Hugh Renton
  9. Folau Fakatava
  10. Freddie Burns
  11. Jona Nareki
  12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen
  13. Fetuli Paea
  14. Scott Gregory
  15. Connor Garden-Bachop

Replacements:

  1. Rhys Marshall
  2. Ayden Johnstone
  3. Jermaine Ainsley
  4. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u
  5. Sean Withy
  6. James Arscott
  7. Mitch Hunt
  8. Jonah Lowe

Not available due to injury: Vili Koroi, Marty Banks, Jeff Thwaites, Josh Timu, Jake Te Hiwi, Cameron Millar, Fabian Holland, Will Tucker, Pari Pari Parkinson, Martin Bogado

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