25th November 01:58 AM
Highlanders fullback Ben Smith expected to return for quarterfinal
By Rusiate Baleilevuka
Friday 14/07/2017
Fullback Ben Smith (left)

Highlanders coach Tony Brown has opted to rest star fullback Ben Smith and halfback Aaron Smith as they prepare to face the Reds tonight.

Brown has named All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo, loose forward Liam Squire and first‑five eighth Lima Sopoaga.

Securing the seventh place will put the Highlanders against the second seed in the quarterfinals which is either the Crusaders or Lions.

Should the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes in Wellington tomorrow night, they will be assured of the top seed and home advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Highlanders will host the Reds at 7.35 tonight while the Rebels will host the Jaguares at 9.45pm.

Tomorrow, the Kings will take on the Cheetahs at 5am, the Sunwolves will face the Blues at 3.05pm, the Chiefs will host the Brumbies at 5.15pm, the Hurricanes against the Crusaders  while the Western Force will face the Waratahs at 11.55pm.

 

Highlanders:

Richard Buckman, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Rob Thompson, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Kayne Hammington, Luke Whitelock, James Lentjes, Liam Squire, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert‑Brown. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Aki Seiuli, Guy Millar, Gareth Evans, Dan Pryor, Josh Renton, Marty Banks, Patelesio Tomkinson.

Reds: Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese, Campbell Magnay, Duncan Paia'aua, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, James Tuttle, Adam Korczyk, George Smith, Caleb Timu, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Taniela Tupou, Stephen Moore (c), Sef Fa'agase. Reserves: Alex Mafi, Markus Vanzati, Sam Talakai, Kane Douglas, Reece Hewat, Moses

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