THE HIGHLANDERS will be without the injured Adam Thomson, John Hardie and Phil Burleigh for their clash against the Brumbies in Canberra tomorrow night.
Hardie has a foot niggle, Thomson a neck strain and Burleigh a leg complaint.
Those three injury-forced changes are among five alterations coach Jamie Joseph has made to his run-on XV for the match at Canberra Stadium.
England loose forward James Haskell replaces Thomson on the short side of the scrum and Doug Tietjens comes in for Hardie in what is a revamped back-row.
Shaun Treeby returns from the casualty ward to take Burleigh’s place in the midfield.
The other changes see Aaron Smith return at halfback ahead of All Black Jimmy Cowan and Culum Retallick replace workhorse Nick Crosswell at lock.
Elliot Dixon will provide loose forward cover on the bench.
The Dunedin-based franchise is aiming to win five games in a row for the first time in its history.
Highlanders: Ben Smith, Kade Poki, Tamati Ellison, Shaun Treeby, Hosea Gear, Colin Slade, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, Doug Tietjens, James Haskell, Culum Retallick, Josh Bekhuis, Chris King, Andrew Hore, Jamie Mackintosh (c)
Reserves: Jason Rutledge, Bronson Murray, Nick Crosswell. Elliot Dixon, Jimmy Cowan, Chris Noakes, Buxton Popoali’i
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Not all our own way for NZ teams
Pressure is on Benji, but shouldn't we remember SBW went to France (Toulon) for 2 years to learn the game.
With all of the news around concussion do you think there should be safety measures in place for players to ensure they don't play on after a head know? How and who should police that?
With the start of club rugby upon us, how can we maintain the value of the clubs in player pathways and community spirit.