Three changes for Highlanders

The Highlanders have made three changes to their starting XV for their home game against the Hurricanes on Saturday. 

Brendon Edmonds was the first-choice loosehead last season and returns as Daniel Lienert-Brown goes to the bench. 

Number eight Liam Squire was injured in the first 40 minutes in their opening round clash with the Blues and will play off the bench. 

Luke Whitelock will make his Highlanders debut starting at eight in his 51st Super Rugby match.

Speedster Matt Faddes will start on the wing in the absence of injured Waisake Naholo, with full-back Jason Emery making his 28th appearance for the side if he gets game time.

Prop Siosiua Halanukonuka will get a chance to take to the field for the first time for the Highlanders.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Shane Christie (cc), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds  
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery

Date: Saturday, March 5
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Chris Wratt