Loose forward Elliot Dixon will replace fullback Ben Smith as Highlanders captain, for their southern derby against the Crusaders in Dunedin on Saturday night.
Smith is out this week after suffering concussion in the opening round loss to the Chiefs.
Richard Buckman will replace Smith at fullback having returned from the Japan League a few weeks ago with Joe Wheeler.
Wheeler will make his first appearance of the season from the bench.
Siosuia Halanukonuka will start at tighthead with Siate Tokolahi moving to the bench and Patrick Osborne takes Matt Faddes' place in the squad.