Sam Gilbert handed another run at 10 in Highlanders side to play Waratahs
All games are crucial but at the business end of any competition there always seems to be more riding on results.
The Highlanders are currently sitting in 8th and the final play-off spot, with just two more rounds to go, but will know that if they are to keep destiny in their own hands at least one or more victory is probably required.
The Waratahs present a formidable challenge on Sunday. Currently sitting in 6th (and just three points outside the top four) they will have everything to play for, knowing a loss will likely see them lose the opportunity to host a home semi-final.
Head Coach Tony Brown has not departed too much from the team that ran up 61 points against the Western Force last Friday.
The only three changes in the forwards are rests for Ethan de Groot who is replaced by last week’s Super Rugby centurion Daniel Lienert-Brown and the hard-working Bryn Evans which sees Sam Caird, who was a Waratah himself last season, come into the second row.
Liam Coltman returns from injury to start at hooker sending Andrew Makalio to the reserves bench where he will be joined by young Tasman prop, Luca Inch, who will be making his Super Rugby debut from the pine. It’s a real Tasman flavour to the reserves bench with six of the eight having played provincial rugby for the Mako.
In the backs, the only change has Denny Solomona returning from his hamstring injury to start on the right wing in place of Fetuli Paea.
Aaron Smith will be playing his 175th match for the club.
Highlanders team to playWaratahs – 3.35pm, Sunday 22 May, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
- Daniel Lienert-Brown
- Liam Coltman
- Jermaine Ainsley
- Sam Caird
- Josh Dickson*
- James Lentjes (cc)
- Billy Harmon
- Marino Mikaele-Tu’u
- Aaron Smith (cc)
- Sam Gilbert
- Scott Gregory
- Thomas Umaga-Jensen
- Josh Timu
- Denny Solomona
- Connor Garden Bachop
16. Andrew Makalio
17. Luca Inch**
18. Saula Mau
19. Max Hicks
20. Hugh Renton
21. Folau Fakatava
22. Marty Banks
223. Fetuli Paea
*50th Highlanders Game
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think the battle between borthwick's 8 and eddie jones 8 was a bigger ticket. we saw what farrell brings and what smith did with historical defeat..Go to comments
G'day, Nick. Sorry to see you've gone from the other place. It will be a poorer experience for many because of it. As others mentioned, your detailed analysis and commitment to engaging with every person commenting on your articles stood out and was the main reason I ended up joining 5 years ago. I'll be spending a bit more time over here now I think.Go to comments