Highlanders makes changes for Qld Reds

Highlanders co-captain Ben Smith will sit out because of concussion in one of seven changes to the Super Rugby champions’ starting 15 to face the Queensland Reds in Dunedin.

Smith got a head knock in the home win over the Western Force last Friday night and Matt Faddes will move from wing to take over the No.15 jersey.

Former New Zealand and England sevens representative Jack Wilson fills Faddes’ spot on the right wing for his second Super Rugby appearance.

Lima Sopoaga, a late withdrawal against the Force because of a groin strain, returns at five-eighth, with Hayden Parker going to the bench.

There are five changes in the pack, two forced by injury.

Daniel Lienert-Brown comes in at loosehead prop for Brendan Edmonds, who is out with a season-ending knee injury, while Luke Whitelock is the replacement at blindside flanker for Elliot Dixon, who sustained a head cut against the Force.

Coach Jamie Joseph has also brought in Mark Reddish and Joe Wheeler as the starting locks, while co-captain Shane Christie returns to openside flanker.

The Highlanders are on a five-match winning run that has taken them to second in the New Zealand conference and just two points before overall competition leaders the Chiefs.

The Reds, who are coming off are bye, are still searching for their first victory of the year.

Highlanders: Matt Faddes, Jack Wilson, Malakai Fekitoa, Rob Thompson, Patrick Osborne, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Liam Squire, Shane Christie (capt), Luke Whitelock, Joe Wheeler, Mark Reddish, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ross Geldenhuys, Josh Hohneck, Tom Franklin, Dan Pryor, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Jason Emery.

* 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!