Highlanders welcome back Thorn and Osborne
Highlanders players Brad Thorn and Patrick Osborne have returned from injury for Friday's game against the Hurricanes.
Thorn has been out since round one with a rib injury but will take his place in the second row alongside Joe Wheeler, while Osborne has recovered from an ankle problem and returns to the left wing.
Phil Burleigh gets his first start of the season, replacing Shaun Treeby at second five, while Ma'afu Fia will make his first starting appearance, coming into the front row in place of Chris King.
Elliot Dixon gets a start in the unfamiliar position of blindside flank, with John Hardie dropping out of the squad entirely.
HIGHLANDERS: Ben Smith (co-captain), Richard Buckman, Malakai Fekitoa, Phil Burleigh, Patrick Osborne, Lima Sopoaga, Nasi Manu (co-captain), Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Joe Wheeler, Brad Thorn, Ma'afu Fia, Liam Coltman, Kane Hames. Reserves; Ged Robinson, Matias Diaz, Chris King, Jarrad Hoeata, TJ Ioane, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Shaun Treeby
- Fairfax Media
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