Mose Tuiali’i joins Highlanders' casualty list
Mose Tuiali’i is the latest player to join the Highlanders long-term casualty list ahead of tomorrow's game against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
The former All Black No 8 — who replaced Nasi Manu in the squad after he suffered a season-ending foot problem — is out for five weeks with a knee injury.
He joins a list of players which includes Tamati Ellison, Brayden Mitchell, Kade Poki, Buxton Popoali’i, Shaun Treeby and Lima Sopoaga.
That has seen coach Jamie Joseph opt for the hard-running TJ Ioane at the base of the scrum, an interesting decision with Elliot Dixon on the reserve bench, but no doubt prompted by the good form rookie Ioane has shown in recent weeks.
Ioane’s move is one of six changes from the starting team which was beaten by the Brumbies in Dunedin last Friday.
All Black loosehead prop Tony Woodcock returns to the team in place of Jamie Mackintosh after a hamstring strain, and Chris King replaces Ma’afu Fia on the tighthead side.
Both Mackintosh and Fia have been included on a bench which has a five forwards/two backs split.
Josh Bekhuis returns to the second row alongside Brad Thorn, with Jarrad Hoeata moving to the blindside.
Aaron Smith returns to the run-on side after being benched last week and Jason Emery will start at centre.
South Otago’s Tony Ensor, a member of the wider training squad, will make his debut on the right wing.
Kurow’s Hayden Parker retains the No 10 jersey ahead of former All Black Colin Slade after a confident debut against the Brumbies.
Meanwhile, the Crusaders made only three changes to the starting team which lost 16-14 to the Force in Perth last weekend.
Sam Whitelock returns to lock and Matt Todd will start at openside flanker.
Dominic Bird, who was stood down from starting last weekend as punishment for an undisclosed indiscretion, has been listed on the bench.
Zac Guildford replaces Adam Whitelock on the left wing.
Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Zac Guildford, Tyler Bleyendaal, Andy Ellis, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, George Whitelock (c), Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Jordan Taufua, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock.
Highlanders: Ben Smith, Tony Ensor, Jason Emery, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear, Hayden Parker, Aaron Smith, TJ Ioane, John Hardie, Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Bekhuis, Brad Thorn, Chris King, Andrew Hore (captain), Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Liam Coltman, Ma'afu Fia, Jamie Mackintosh, Elliot Dixon, Fumiaka Tanaka, Colin Slade, Jake Paringatai.
The Southland Times