KADE POKI will make his return from a knee injury when the Highlanders play the Waratahs in Dunedin tomorrow night.
He will take his place on the right wing for the match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, with Buxton Popoali’i dropping to the bench.
Colin Slade, who returned to action last week via the bench, comes in for Ben Smith at fullback. Smith has been ruled out after suffering a knock to the head during the 27-24 victory over the Crusaders.
Impressive youngster Aaron Smith keeps his spot at halfback ahead of All Black Jimmy Cowan, while John Hardie is once again preferred ahead on England international James Haskell at openside.
The match against the ‘Tahs will be captain Jamie Mackintosh’s 50th for the franchise.
Highlanders: Colin Sade, Kade Poki, Tamati Ellison, Phil Burleigh, Hosea Gear, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, John Hardie, Adam Thomson, Nick Crosswell, Josh Bekhuis, Chris King, Andrew Hore, Jamie Mackintosh (c)
Reserves: Jason Rutledge, Bronson Murray, Culum Retallick, James Haskell, Jimmy Cowan, Kurt Baker, Buxton Popoali’i
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?