The first date of Super Rugby Aotearoa is already underway and the first to confirm its lineup is Highlanders who will have a difficult battle on debut as he will face the defending champion, Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The head coach Tony brown opted for Jack Regan, after some good performances during the preseason, joins Josh dickson on the second line. The new forward in Dunedin, Billy Harmon, will wear jersey number 7 against his old team and alongside Shannon frizell Y Marino Mikaele Tu’u.
They also make their debut with Highlanders Connor Garden-Bachop Y Solomon alaimalo. Garden-Bachop missed all of last season due to injury, while Alaimalo will seek to continue the good performance he showed with Chiefs last year.
The presence of the co-captains stands out among the headlines Ash Dixon and Aaron Smith.
Highlanders formation: 1. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2. Ash Dixon (cc), 3. Siate Tokolahi; 4. Josh Dickson, 5. Jack Regan; 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Billy Harmon, 8. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u; 9. Aaron Smith (cc), 10. Mitch Hunt; 11 Jona Nareki, 12. Patelesio Tomkinson, 13. Ngatungane Punivai, 14. Connor Garden-Bachop; 15. Solomon Alaimalo.
Alternate: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Bryn Evans, 20. Liam Squire, 21. Folau Fakatava, 22. Josh Ioane and 23. Hugh Renton.