Highlanders recall Aaron Smith
July 4, 2013
All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith replaces Fumiaki Tanaka in Highlanders side © Getty Images
All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith returns to the starting Hurricanes line-up to play the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday night, replacing Japan international Fumiaki Tanaka who moves to the reserves.
Smith is one of three changes to the starting side defeated by the Crusaders in Super Rugby round 18, with Liam Coltman replacing All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore and TJ Ioane starting at blindside flanker instead of Jarrad Hoeata, whom SANZAR suspended for one game after receiving his third yellow card of the season during the 40-12 loss to the Crusaders in Dunedin.
In the reserves, Joe Wheeler, Hayden Parker and Buxton Popoalii come back into the 22.
Brad Thorn will captain the side.
"Quite a few of our guys are from Wellington and they'll relish the chance to play on what was their home ground in front of their families," Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said. "The conditions don't look good so we'll have to see how that pans out and adjust our tactics accordingly."
Highlanders: Ben Smith; Kade Poki, Shaun Treeby, Tamati Ellison, Hosea Gear; Colin Slade, Aaron Smith; Mose Tuiali'i, Elliot Dixon, TJ Ioane; Josh Bekhuis, Brad Thorn (captain); Ma'afu Fia, Liam Coltman, Tony Woodcock. Replacements: Andrew Hore, Bronson Murray, Jake Paringatai, Joe Wheeler, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Buxton Popoalii.
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall
John Griffiths digs into the distant past to try to establish the identity of an England international whose life is a virtual mystery