PREVIEW: Highlanders v Reds
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 allblacks.com Liam Coltman
Although the Reds have struggled for consistency in 2017, they are coming off the back of a rousing come-from-behind win over the Brumbies last week. The Reds showed great fight to rally from nine points down to stun the Australian conference leaders. The Highlanders last Super Rugby outing was a close loss to the Crusaders but they will take great confidence from their 23-22 win over the British & Irish Lions in June.
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Highlanders coach Tony Brown is confident his side can continue the form they showed against the British & Irish Lions in June. “It's great to have the boys all back together, we've had a great preparation week and are looking forward to a tough challenge against the Reds. The team is excited about putting on a great performance in what could be our last game at home in front of our fans.'
The Highlanders are bolstered by the return of hard-running loose forward Liam Squire to the line-up for the first time since early May. Squire will partner Luke Whitelock and James Lentjes in an imposing back row. In the backline, All Blacks Aaron Smith and Ben Smith have been rested with Malakai Fekitoa and Waisake Naholo slotting in the starting line-up after being involved for the All Blacks against the British & Irish Lions.
Some exciting news from Ash about his future with the Highlanders! P.S anyone need a diving buddy?? ??#YOURLanders pic.twitter.com/0MpGxkwE77— The Highlanders (@Highlanders) July 10, 2017ROOKIE REDS
Highlanders: Daniel Lienert-Brown, Liam Coltman, Siate Tokolahi, Jackson Hemopo, Tom Franklin, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Luke Whitelock (co-captain), Kayne Hammington, Lima Sopoaga, Tevita Li, Rob Thompson, Malakai Fekitoa, Waisake Naholo, Richard Buckman.
Reserves: Ash Dixon (co-captain), Aki Seiuli, Guy Millar, Gareth Evans, Dan Pryor, Josh Renton, Marty Banks, Sio Tomkinson
Reds: Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese, Campbell Magnay, Duncan Paia’aua, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, James Tuttle, Adam Korczyk, George Smith, Caleb Timu, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Taniela Tupou, Stephen Moore (c), Sef Fa’agase.
Reserves: Alex Mafi, Markus Vanzati, Sam Talakai, Kane Douglas, Reece Hewat, Moses Sorovi, Hamish Stewart, Jayden Ngamanu
#SuperRugby is back in full swing with Rd 17 this weekend! Who are your picks in this last normal round? #SuperBoomBoom pic.twitter.com/o8PlgURXEQ— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 10, 2017
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