Players celebrate Aaron Smith's try to seal the game during the Highlanders v Stormers in March. Photo: Derek Morrison/

OTAGO – The Highlanders have named a settled combination for their Super Rugby clash against the Blues at Eden Park at Auckland on Friday.

The Highlanders recorded a good victory against the Brumbies in Dunedin last weekend coming off the bye. 

One notable change to the starting lineup is the rotation of halfbacks, with Kayne Hammington earning his first start of the 2018 season, and Aaron Smith moving to the bench.

Head coach Aaron Mauger noted Hammington’s good form of late and the chance to rotate his halfbacks. 

“Kayne has earned the opportunity and he is ready to give us what we need to start the game and Aaron will come on and finish well for us.”

Having played four of their first six games at home the Highlanders now begin a stretch of five away games in six weeks. 

The Blues hold the upper hand over the last five years at Eden Park leading 3-2 on victories against the Highlanders.

The Highlanders team is: 

15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown


16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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