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Principale » Three All Blacks in Highlanders team to face British and Irish Lions

Three All Blacks in Highlanders team to face British and Irish Lions

13 Juin 2017

The Dunedin-based Highlanders have selected only three current All Blacks in their lineup for Wednesday's match against the British and Irish Lions.

However, the Highlanders will be without halfback Aaron Smith and fullback Ben Smith, as well as five other players on duty with New Zealand Maori.

The forwards are a strong suit for the Highlanders, who will field a virtually unchanged starting pack from the side edged 25-22 by the Crusaders in their last Super Rugby match on June 3, with only Jackson Hemopo and Dillon Hunt added.

In the backs, Teihorangi Walden gets a rare start with Richard Buckman shifting to fullback due to the unavailability of regular fullbacks Ben Smith and Matt Faddes.

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On the bench a Highlanders debut looms for lock Josh Dickson and an opportunity for local boy Josh Renton to play at halfback in front of his home crowd.

Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Patrick Osborne.

Highlanders: 15-Richard Buckman, 14-Waisake Naholo, 13-Malakai Fekitoa, 12-Teihorangi Walden, 11-Tevita Li, 10-Lima Sopoaga, 9-Kayne Hammington, 8-Luke Whitelock (captain), 6-Gareth Evans, 7-Dillon Hunt, 5-Jackson Hemopo, 4-Alex Ainley, 3-Siate Tokolahi, 2-Liam Coltman, 1-Daniel Lienert-Brown.