THE INJURY-HIT Highlanders have managed to cobble together a backline that will feature a new-look midfield and the presence of former All Black Hosea Gear for tomorrow’s pre-season game against the Chiefs in Queenstown.
Ben Smith and wider training squad member Glenn Dickson will wear jerseys 13 and 12 respectively for the match at the Queenstown Recreation Ground.
Gear, who was part of the New Zealand Sevens team in Wellington last week, has been named on the left wing in what will be his first game for the Dunedin-based franchise since transferring from the Hurricanes.
Kurt Baker will also make his first appearance for the Highlanders after missing all of last season with a back injury.
The Jamie Joseph-coached side has a number of players nursing injuries, including All Blacks first five Colin Slade, lock Jarrad Hoeata, captain Jamie Mackintosh and midfielders Siale Piutau, Shaun Treeby and Kendrick Lynn.
The Highlanders lost their first pre-season hit-out against the Crusaders last week.
Highlanders: Kurt Baker, Telusa Veainu, Ben Smith, Glenn Dickson, Hosea Gear, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, Doug Tietjens, Adam Thomson, Culum Retallick, Nick Crosswell (c), Ma'afu Fia, Jason Rutledge, Bronson Murray
Reserves: Andrew Hore, Chris King, Hoani MacDonald, Elliot Dixon, Jimmy Cowan, Chris Noakes, Buxton Popoali'i, Nemia Kenatale, Brayden Mitchell, Josh Bekhuis.
Chiefs (squad): Phil Burleigh, Aaron Cruden, Andrew Horrell, Richard Kahui, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brendon Leonard, Tim Nanai-Williams, Lelia Masaga, Maritino Nemani, Robbie Robinson, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Jackson Willison, Ben Afeaki, Sam Cane, Craig Clarke (c), Shane Cleaver, Marcel Cumming-Toone, Mike Fitzgerald, Rory Grice, Tanerau Latimer, Fritz Lee, Ronald Raaymakers, Brodie Retallick, Mahonri Schwalger, Toby Smith, Ben Tameifuna, Sona Taumalolo, Kane Thompson, Scott Waldrom« Back to Archives
This weekend throws up another set of games which could go either way.
Which player was unlucky not to make the Wallabies’ preliminary squad for the British and Irish Lions series?