The Highlanders will field a strong side against the Blues for Friday’s clash at Eden Park. The forwards will have the experience of Liam Coltman, Tom Franklin and Luke Whitelock combined with exciting young players, Pari Pari Parkinson and Shannon Frizell. Hooker, Ray Niuia, will get his first start from the bench with Josh Dickson and Jackson Hemopo adding plenty of size to the game day 23.
In the backs, Thomas Umaga-Jensen will again partner Patelesio Tomkinson in the midfield, while the experienced Marty Banks gets his first start at first-five. Young pivots, Folau Fakatava and Josh Ioane, will provide cover for the inside pairing and the versatile Richard Buckman rounds out the back reserves.