SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA, ROUND SEVEN
HIGHLANDERS vs CHIEFS, Saturday 5.05pm AEST at Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders coach Tony Brown has forgiven two of his ‘suspended six’ players by naming Patelesio Tomkinson and Josh Ioane in his lineup to face the Chiefs on Saturday.
Tomkinson will start at outside centre while Ioane is on the bench for the Dunedin clash.
The duo were not considered for selection last week after breaching team protocols.
The other four – Daniel Lienert-Brown, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Sione Misiloi – are not in the squad.
The Highlanders are buoyant after their upset win over the Crusaders but will be without rising halfback Folau Fakatava, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Aaron Smith starts with the reliable Kayne Hammington on the bench.
Halfback Brad Weber will captain a side without Sean Wainui (ankle) and Chase Tiatia (illness) but regaining Tupou Vaa’i, Etene Nanai-Seturo and Jonah Lowe.
HIGHLANDERS (15-1): Connor Garden-Bachop, Ngatungane Punivai, Patelesio Tomkinson, Scott Gregory, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith (co-c), Kazuki Himeno, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Pari Pari Parkinson, Bryn Evans, Josh Hohneck, Ash Dixon (co-c), Ethan de Groot
Reserves: Liam Coltman, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Josh Dickson, Billy Harmon Kayne Hammington, Josh Ioane, Hugh Renton
CHIEFS (15-1): Damian McKenzie, Jonah Lowe, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Kaleb Trask, Brad Weber (c), Luke Jacobson, Kaylum Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Tupou Vaa’i, Angus Ta’avao, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Aidan Ross
Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Joe Apikotoa, Samipeni Finau, Pita Gus Sowakula, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson