The Highlanders have suffered a major setback ahead of their opening Super Rugby Aotearoa clash tonight with playmaker Josh Ioane ruled out after suffering a training injury.
The side takes on the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin at 7:05pm and will now field a side with Mitch Hunt in the first five eighth position.
Hunt was penciled in to start the game at fullback, so that position will now be filled by sevens international Vilimoni Koroi while Bryn Gatland, the son of Chiefs coach Warren Gatland, graduates to the bench.
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Ioane will be assessed next week for a groin injury.