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Highlanders team named to face Crusaders

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017

Number eight Luke Whitelock will captain a below-strength Highlanders side in their opening pre-season game against the Crusaders in Darfield.

New head coach Tony Brown has named a team missing all of their first-choice All Blacks, who only returned to training this week.

Former New Zealand age group and Blues winger Tevita Li will make his first start for the southerners on Saturday.

First five-eighth Marty Banks, a late squad addition following a season-ending injury to Hayden Parker, is on the reserves bench.

The Highlanders will contest the Brisbane Global Tens next week before completing their pre-season against the Waratahs in Sydney on February 16.

HIGHLANDERS: Jason Emery, Fa'asiu Fuatai, Sio Tomkinson, Rob Thompson, Tevita Li, Fletcher Smith, Kayne Hammington, Luke Whitelock (capt), James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Guy Millar, Adrian Smith, Craig Millar. Reserves: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Aki Seiuli, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Siate Tokolahi, Alex Ainley, Josh Dickson, Adam Knight, Dillon Hunt, Josh Renton, Marty Banks, Teihorangi Walden, Matt Faddes, Jona Nareki.

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