19 Feb 2015

Seven to debut in Highlanders' season opener

1:45 pm on 19 February 2015

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has named his team for their season-opening Super Rugby derby with the Crusaders in Dunedin on Saturday night.

Seven players are set to make their debuts for the Highlanders, who had a first-round bye, including Josh Hohneck, Ross Geldenhuys and Waisake Naholo, who all make the starting line-up.

Highlanders fullback Ben Smith.

Ben Smith will co-captain the Highlanders with Nasi Manu this season Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The team will be co-captained by Nasi Manu and Ben Smith this season.

Joseph has selected from a near fully fit squad with just a hamstring strain keeping flanker Shane Christie out, while the versatile and industrious back Richard Buckman and prop Pingi Tala'apitaga are both unavailable due to knee injuries.


1. Josh Hohneck

2. Liam Coltman

3. Ross Geldenhuys

4. Tom Franklin

5. Joe Wheeler

6. Elliot Dixon

7. John Hardie

8. Nasi Manu ( c )

9. Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Patrick Osborne

12. Shaun Treeby

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith ( c )

16. Ash Dixon

17. Kane Hames

18. Ma'afu Fia

19. Mark Reddish

20. Dan Pryor

21. Fumiaki Tanaka

22. Jason Emery

23. Marty Banks

Head coach: Jamie Joseph

Assistant coaches: Tony Brown, Scott McLeod

Manager: Paul McLaughlan