Dangerous play maker Ben Smith returns to the Highlanders side at fullback for Saturday’s Super Rugby Qualifier against the Cell C Sharks in Durban.
Coach Jamie Jospeh has named his strongest possible line-up for the clash, with Smith back after an illness-enforced absence to complete a formidable backline that also includes new All Black Malakai Fekitoa at centre, dangerous flyhalf Lima Sopoaga and another, unrelated Smith danger man, scrumhalf Aaron.
Changes to the pack see Ged Robinson (hooker) and Jarrad Hoeata (lock) come back into the starting side after missing out on last week’s loss to the Crusaders.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 JP Koen, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Tom Franklin, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Gareth Evans.