Bay of Plenty Steamers halfback Te Aihe Toma is set for the biggest game of his career when he starts for the Highlanders against the Crusaders in Oamaru this evening.

The Te Puna captain is normally at training at Maramataga Park on a Thursday evening but he gets a shot at the big time tonight with both regular Highlanders halfbacks Aaron Smith (All Blacks) and Fumiaki Tanaka (Japan) on international duty.

Toma has been in the Bay of Plenty squad for two seasons without having a regular starting role.

The 23-year-old will be keen to impress Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph in this unofficial friendly match between the Super Rugby heavyweights before the competition resumes next weekend.