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Highlanders team named for derby

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Another week, another shuffle of the loose forwards for the Highlanders

The Highlanders have named their side to take on the Crusaders for this Friday’s match.

The two teams were due to face off earlier in the season but the match was called off and treated as a draw after the Christchurch shootings.

Unsurprisingly, young Otago first-five Josh Ioane has been recalled at 10 after Marty Banks’ injury.

Equally as unsurprisingly, coach Aaron Mauger has again shuffled his loose forward trio with Elliot Dixon coming in for the rested Luke Whitelock. No combination of loose forwards has started more than two matches this season for the Highlanders.

The Highlanders are now on a four-match losing streak and will soon find the finals out of reach if their season doesn’t take a sharp turn upwards in the next few weeks.

Friday will mark captain Ben Smith’s 150th Super Rugby match.

Highlanders team: Ben Smith (c), Matt Faddes, Rob Thompson, Tei Walden, Tevita Li, Josh Ioane, Kayne Hammington, Elliot Dixon, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Tom Franklin, Pari Pari Parkinson, Tyrel Lomax, Liam Colman, Daniel Lienert-Brown. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Josh Dickson, Jackson Hemopo, Folau Fakatava, Bryn Gatland, Patelesio Tomkinson.

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Another week, another shuffle of the loose forwards for the Highlanders