Highlanders change two for Brumbies

Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has made two changes to his starting line-up for Friday's quarter-final against the Brumbies in Canberra.

Liam Squire gains a start at number eight after impressing from the bench last week, meaning a shift for the versatile Luke Whitelock to lock. 

After recovering from illness co-captain Shane Christie is back on the side of the scrum replacing James Lentjes, Christie has missed the last two matches but has been passed fit to play and will make his 11th appearance of the season. 

Prop Josh Hohneck and hooker Ash Dixon will both make their 50th Super Rugby appearances.

Joseph has returned to the more conventional 5/3 split on the bench with Rob Thompson coming in as the extra back and lock Alex Ainley missing out on the matchday 23 this week. 

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

Date: Friday, July 22
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 18:05 local (08:05 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Ben O'Keeffe, Nic Berry
TMO: George Ayoub