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- 20th Apr 2012
- KO 08:35
- Ground: Forsyth Barr, Dunedin
Highlanders v Blues: Teams
At Forsyth Barr Stadium, Saturday April 20, kick-off 8.35am
Mike Delany will return to the Highlanders line-up after a four-year absence for Friday's clash with the Blues in Dunedin.
Delaney, who spent a season at the franchise in 2008 before going on to play for the Chiefs and in Japan, has been signed as cover due to injuries to Colin Slade and Lima Sopoaga.
And he has been named as one of two changes from the side that lost to the Stormers last time out.
Delany replaces the benched Chris Noakes at fly-half, while Phil Burleigh comes into the side in place of the injured Ben Smith. Burleigh will start in the centres, with Tamati Ellison switching to full-back.
The Blues have made a number of changes to their line-up as they look to end their Super Rugby struggles.
Coach Pat Lam has named Ali Williams, Tom McCartney, George Moala and Peter Saili in his starting XV - with Rudi Wulf and Keven Mealamu both sidelined through injury.
The loss off Wulf means Hadleigh Parkes starts at full-back and Moala starts on the wing, while Benson Stanley and Rene Ranger also swap positions.
Sailo will wear the No.8 shirt, so Chris Lowery reverts to the blindside, with stand-in captain Luke Braid moving to the openside.
Winger David Raikuna also returns on the bench after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Highlanders: 15 Tamati Ellison, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Aaron Smith, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Chris King, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 James Haskell, 8 Nasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Doug Tietjens, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Kurt Baker
Blues: 15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 George Moala, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Benson Stanley, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (c), 6 Chris Lowrey, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Ali Williams, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Dan Braid, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 David Raikuna.
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