22 Feb 2017

Highlanders name five debutants to take on Chiefs

11:47 am on 22 February 2017

The Highlanders have named five debutants in their 23-man squad to play the Chiefs in their opening Super Rugby game in Dunedin on Friday night.

Highlanders celebrate a Waisake Naholo try.

Highlanders celebrate a Waisake Naholo try. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Prop Siate Tokolahi and winger Tevita Li start, while Adrian Smith, Guy Millar and Kayne Hammington are in the reserves.

Coach Tony Brown will start all his All Blacks apart from Elliot Dixon who will make his impact from the bench.

They'll field an impressive backline of Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Tevita Li, Rob Thompson, Malakai Fekitoa, Waisake Naholo and Ben Smith.

"The recent games against the Chiefs have been cracking games and we expect nothing less this week, the guys are really looking forward to getting out in front of our home fans" said Brown.

The game will mark Malakai Fekitoa's 50th game for the Highlanders.

Fekitoa, Highlander number 213 debuted in 2014 against the Blues.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Fri 24th Feb 7.35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown

2. Liam Coltman

3. Siate Tokolahi (Debut game)

4. Alex Ainley

5. Tom Franklin

6. Gareth Evans

7. James Lentjes

8. Liam Squire

9. Aaron Smith

10. Lima Sopoaga

11. Tevita Li (Debut game)

12. Rob Thompson

13. Malakai Fekitoa

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith (C)


16. Adrian Smith (Debut game)

17. Craig Millar

18. Guy Millar (Debut game)

19. Jackson Hemopo

20. Elliot Dixon

21. Kayne Hammington (Debut game)

22. Fletcher Smith

23. Matt Faddes