Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made two changes to the starting 15 for tomorrow night's match against the Blues in Dunedin, with Mike Delany finally getting his chance to take the field for his former franchise.
Delany, who was cleared to play for the Highlanders last week after his return from club rugby in Japan, starts at first-five ahead of Chris Noakes.
Ben Smith has not recovered from the concussion he suffered in the defeat to the Stormers two weeks ago so Tamati Ellison will start in the relatively unfamiliar position of fullback.
Phil Burleigh comes back into the starting line-up at centre.
Lock Josh Bekhuis will reach the milestone of 50 games as the Highlanders look to back to winning ways against the struggling Blues. The southerners had a bye last weekend.
The match takes on additional significance as both teams are playing for the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy - the Blues are the current holders.
The Highlanders team to play the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow at 7.35pm is: Tamati Ellison, Kade Poki, Phil Burleigh, Shaun Treeby, Hosea Gear, Mike Delany, Aaron Smith; Nasi Manu, James Haskell, Adam Thomson, Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Bekhuis, Chris King, Andrew Hore, Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Reserves: Jason Rutledge, Ma'afu Fia, Doug Tietjens, Culum Retallick, Jimmy Cowan, Chris Noakes, Kurt Baker.
- APNZBy Patrick McKendry Email Patrick