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Sopoaga cleared for Brumbies clash

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Sopoaga cleared for Brumbies clash

After a week off, Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has named a largely unchanged side to play the Brumbies on Saturday.

Lima Sopoaga notably retains the No. 10 jersey, after he hobbled off with what looked like a serious non-contact injury during his side’s week seven loss to the Chiefs.

Teihorangi Walden and Rob Thompson will line up outside Sopoaga, pushing Matt Faddes back to the bench.

Hooker Liam Coltman makes his return from injury, and 36-year-old Alex Ainley joins the 23 for the first time this season.

Industrious loose forward Shannon Frizell earns his first start at blindside flanker.

“Fair to say we have a good perspective of where we are at the moment as a team and over the last few weeks, we have taken some good learnings from our matches,” said Mauger.

“The guys have come back fresh from the break and have trained well. Our training focus this week has been on using those recent learnings to solve a few issues that will allow us to perform come the weekend.”

HIGHLANDERS

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2. Liam Coltman, 3. Siate Tokolahi, 4. Jackson Hemopo, 5. Tom Franklin, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Dillon Hunt, 8. Luke Whitelock, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 11. Tevita Li, 12. Teihorangi Walden, 13. Rob Thompson, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Ben Smith (C).
Reserves: 16. Ash Dixon (C), 17. Aki Seiuli, 18. Kalolo Tuiloma, 19. Alex Ainley, 20. Elliot Dixon, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Fletcher Smith, 23. Matt Faddes.

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Sopoaga cleared for Brumbies clash
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