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Shannon Frizell scratched and Aaron Smith rested as Highlanders name side to tackle Waratahs

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The Highlanders return to Forsyth Barr Stadium for their last round-robin home game of the season knowing that nothing less than a win will do to keep them in the hunt for a finals spot.


Shannon Frizell is ruled out with an ankle injury sustained during the Rebels match that will sideline him for up to six weeks. After a heavy workload halfback and co-captain Aaron Smith gets a rest under the All Blacks load protocols providing Kayne Hammington with the opportunity to play his 50th game for the Highlanders.

In other changes, Bryn Evans, returns to the pack and the well-performed Kazuki Himeno and Billy Harmon start in the loose trio with James Lentjes moving to the blindside. Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Hohneck and Teariki Ben-Nicholas refresh the forwards reserves.

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The rest of the backline remains unchanged and in the reserves Sam Gilbert returns from injury and Otago halfback James Arscott will potentially debut off the bench.

This game is the Highlander’s annual celebration of grassroots rugby. All registered junior rugby players, coaches and referees have been invited to attend the match and the annual Junior Club Race will take place at halftime.

Highlanders: Josh Ioane, Patelesio Tomkinson, Michael Collins, Scott Gregory, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Kayne Hammington, Kazuki Himeno, Billy Harmon, James Lentjes, Bryn Evans, Pari Pari Parkinson, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon (c), Ethan de Groot. Reserves: Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Hohneck, Josh Dickson, Hugh Renton, James Arscott, Sam Gilbert, Teariki Ben-Nicholas.

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Shannon Frizell scratched and Aaron Smith rested as Highlanders name side to tackle Waratahs