Highlanders blood rugby halves v Kings

Halfback Te Aihe Toma will make his Super Rugby debut when he runs out for the Highlanders against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

With All Black Aaron Smith rested and Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka out with a shoulder injury, Bay of Plenty scrumhalf Toma’s back-up on the bench will be another newcomer in Manawatu’s Jamie Booth.

Smith is one of five All Blacks, along with Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa and Elliot Dixon, who haven’t made the trip to South Africa.

The quintet will join the Highlanders’ squad ahead of their next match against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

Two other Test players, five-eighth Lima Sopoaga and loose forward Liam Squire, who came off the bench in the third Test against Wales last weekend, are with the tour party.

Sopoaga and Squire have been included among the reserves for the match against the Kings on Sunday morning (AEST).

Joining the pair is winger Patrick Osborne, who has returned from international duty with Fiji.

The match will be Mark Reddish’s 50th in Super Rugby and the former Hurricanes lock’s 19th for the Highlanders.

The Highlanders are sitting in the fifth and last playoff spot in the Australasian group, while the Kings are near the bottom of the South African group, with just two wins from 12 matches.

Highlanders: Matt Faddes, Jack Wilson, Jason Emery, Rob Thompson, Ryan Tongia, Marty Banks, Te Aihe Toma, Luke Whitelock, Shane Christie (capt), Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Mark Reddish, Josh Hohneck, Ash Dixon, Daniel Lienert-Brown. Res: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Aki Seiuli, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Liam Squire, Dan Pryor, Jamie Booth, Lima Sopoaga, Patrick Osborne.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!