Highlanders change three for Chiefs

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made three changes to his starting XV for Saturday's crucial clash with the Chiefs in Dunedin.

In the back-line there is one change, with Matt Faddes coming in at outside centre with Malakai Fekitoa shifting in a position to wear the number 12 jersey.

This means that Rob Thompson, who was the starting inside centre in the champions' most recent victories against the Jaguares, misses out on selection.

There's no place in the matchday squad for Thompson as Joseph has opted for a six forward-two back split on his replacements bench.

The other changes to the run-on side is in the pack where Alex Ainley and Daniel Lienert-Brown replace Joe Wheeler and Josh Hohneck at lock and loosehead prop respectively.

Like Thompson, there's no place on the bench for Wheeler while Liam Coltman returns from a toe injury as the back-up hooker.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Alex Ainley, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown 
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Fletcher Smith

Date: Saturday, July 16
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)