Landers get Smith boost

Highlanders fullback Ben Smith has recovered from a concussion and will start against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Smith missed the Highlanders’ 30-27 victory over the Blues in Dunedin, but returns for the team’s first tour match in South Africa as the only change to their run-on XV.

This sees a shuffle in the backline as Tamati Ellison shifts from No 15 to outside centre to make way for Smith, while Phil Burleigh is dropped from the match 22 completely.

Wing Siale Piutau features on the bench after an extensive period on the sidelines because of an ankle injury.

Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Buxton Popoali’i, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 James Haskell, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Subs: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Ma’afu Fia, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Doug Tietjens, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Siale Piutau.