This Sunday, Highlanders will receive in Dunedin a Blues who needs a victory to be able to continue dreaming of Super Rugby Aotearoa. The duel can be lived live at 0.35 on ESPN Play, and delayed at 11 on ESPN 3.
The home team, which is fourth in the standings and which has accumulated two wins and three defeats so far in the tournament, will take to the court with the same team that did it two weeks ago and which epically beat the Chiefs in the last play of the game (last weekend he had a free date).
Despite the fact that there will be no changes in regards to the XV starter, head coach Aaron Mauger has decided to make a curious positional variant: Mitch Hunt, one of the figures of the last appearance of Dunedin’s team, will play as fullback , while Josh Ioane will put on the number 10 jersey.
In this sense, Mauger explained: “Mitch (Hunt) has been outstanding for us. However, Josh deserves his chance as he has worked very hard to get back in top shape and we saw him at a very good level against the Chiefs. ”
On the other hand, when the duel begins at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, the Gordon Hunter Trophy will be at stake, in honor of who was the first coach of Highlanders back in 1996 when Super Rugby began. Additionally, he was in charge of Blues in 2000, before passing away from cancer in 2002.
Highlanders: 1. Ayden Johnstone, 2. Ash Dixon (cc), 3. Jeff Thwaites, 4. Pari Pari Parkinson, 5. Jack Whetton, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Dillon Hunt, 8. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 9. Aaron Smith (cc), 10. Josh Ioane, 11. Scott Gregory, 12. Patelesio Tomkinson, 13. Michael Collins, 14. Josh McKay, 15. Mitch Hunt.
Substitutes: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Ethan De Groot, 18. Siate Tokolahi, 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20. Jesse Parete, 21. Folau Fakatava, 22. Bryn Gatland, 23. Jona Nareki.