The Highlanders are brining out the big guns for this weekend’s Super Rugby clash with the Reds in Dunedin, with coach Aaron Mauger naming nine All Blacks in his side.
Looking forback to back wins to start the season after last week’s 30-27 win over the Chiefs, Mauger has welcomed back the likes of Waisake Naholo into the starting side, named on the right wing with Matt Faddes dropping to the bench.
All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith is another to return to the starting XV, having come off the bench in the round one defeat.
In the forwards, All Blacks duo Shannon Frizell and Jackson Hemopo will both start, while Liam Squire has been left out due to a hip injury.
Highlanders: 15. Ben Smith (cc), 14. Waisake Naholo, 13. Rob Thompson, 12. Teihorangi Walden, 11. Tevita Li, 10. Josh Ioane, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Luke Whitelock (cc), 7. Dillon Hunt, 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Josh Dickson, 4. Jackson Hemopo, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 2. Liam Coltman, 1. Ayden Johnstone.
Reserves: 16. Ash Dixon, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Siate Tokolahi, 19. Jack Whetton, 20. Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Marty Banks, 23. Matt Faddes.