Highlanders name ABs for preseason match

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 12:58 07/02/2013
Highlanders
Getty Images

BIG BOYS BACK: All Blacks Tony Woodcock, Ma'a Nonu and Aaron Smith have been included in the Highlanders starting lineup for their preseason clash with the Crusaders.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

ACT Brumbies board gets big shake-up Crusaders' match in Fiji hangs in the balance Crusaders chairman Murray Ellis calls it quits Raw talent leaves Chiefs coach spoilt for choice Moore says Brumbies not distracted by off-field uncertainty NSW Waratahs assistant Daryl Gibson sets sights on All Blacks coaching role Excitement building over new Chief Seta Tamanivalu Crusaders make profit as board chairman Murray Ellis departs Matt Todd takes out Crusaders and Canterbury awards Queensland Reds keeping Tupou in cotton wool

All Blacks Tony Woodcock, Ma'a Nonu and Aaron Smith have been named to start for the Highlanders in a preseason game against the Crusaders in Oamaru tomorrow.

Southland flanker John Hardie returns to the field for the first time since re-injuring his foot playing a preseason game for the Stags last year, while Hosea Gear will lead the team for the second week running.

Stags hooker Brayden Mitchell will start in a front row, which includes Woodcock and Ma'a Fia.

Tomorrow's game at Whitestone Contracting Stadium kicks off at 4.30pm.

Colin Slade remains two to three weeks away from playing as he recovers from a broken leg, Nasi Manu is expected back in the next one or two weeks with a hamstring injury, Jake Paringatai (hand) is still a month away and Chris King could be back next week following offseason shoulder surgery.

Tamati Ellison (shoulder) is the other long-term injury prospect.

The Highlanders were beaten 36-14 by the Chiefs in Taupo on Saturday and take on the Blues in Queenstown on February 15.

They play their opening game against the Chiefs in Dunedin on February 22.

HIGHLANDERS: Buxton Popoali'i, Kade Poki, Phil Burleigh, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear (captain), Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Elliot Dixon, John Hardie, Joe Wheeler, Jarrad Hoeata, Brad Thorn, Ma'afu Fia, Brayden Mitchell, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Jason Emery, Hayden Parker, Fumiaki Tanaka, Shaun Treeby, Frae Wilson, Hugh Blake, Liam Coltman, Tom Franklin, Paul Grant, Jamie Mackintosh, Bronson Murray.

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content