The All Blacks Aaron Smith and Ma'a Nonu have been benched for the Highlanders home Super Rugby game against the Blues on Saturday night in Dunedin.
The test halfback and second five eighths are out of form and coach Jamie Joseph's made the call to demote them to the reserves for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy match, replacing them with Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka and Shaun Treeby respectively.
But All Blacks team-mate Andrew Hore rejoins the starting XV and will resume the captaincy.
Their injured international team-mate Tony Woodcock sits out the match.
Jarrad Hoeata starts on the blindside and another former All Black, Colin Slade gets the nod at first five, while Trent Renata takes over on the right wing.
Highlanders: 1. Jamie Mackintosh, 2. Andrew Hore (captain), 3. Ma'afu Fia, 4. Brad Thorn, 5. Josh Bekhuis, 6. Jarrad Hoeata, 7. John Hardie, 8. Mose Tuiali'i, 9. Fumiaki Tanaka, 10. Colin Slade, 11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain), 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Trent Renata, 15. Ben Smith
Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Bronson Murray, 18. Elliot Dixon, 19. TJ Ioane, 20. Aaron Smith, 21. Hayden Parker, 22. Ma'a Nonu