Andrew Hore will start from the bench for the Highlanders when they take on the Chiefs in Dunedin on Friday night but fellow All Blacks Aaron Smith, Adam Thomson and Ben Smith will be thrown into the fray.

Jason Rutledge will start at hooker instead of Hore and is one of five changes coach Jamie Joseph has made to the run-on team beaten by the Crusaders 51-18 at AMI Stadium a month ago.

Ma'afu Fia replaces Chris King at prop, Nick Crosswell starts at lock in place of Josh Bekhuis, Tim Boys will start at openside flanker ahead of James Haskell and Kade Poki returns to right wing in place of Kurt Baker.

The Chiefs lead the competition with 58 points and the eighth-placed Highlanders (44) will want to topple them to keep their playoffs ambitions alive.


Highlanders team to play the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, on Friday (7.35pm): Ben Smith, Kade Poki, Tamati Ellison, Phil Burleigh, Hosea Gear, hris Noakes, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, Tim Boys, Adam Thomson, Nick Crosswell, Jarrad Hoeata, Ma'afu Fia, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh (c). Reserves: Andrew Hore, Chris King, Josh Bekhuis, James Haskell, Jimmy Cowan, Mike Delany, Buxton Popoali'i.