The Highlanders will give captain Jamie Mackintosh a break this weekend, which will see hooker Andrew Hore lead the team against the Hurricanes on Saturday.
Mackintosh has been a regular feature for the Otago franchise this season and head coach Jamie Joseph has decided to rest his skipper, with Hore taking over the captaincy. Loosehead prop Chris King replaces Mackintosh in the front row.
There are two other changes to the run-on side. Flank Nick Croswell replaces the injured Doug Tietjens (knee) in the loose trio, while inside centre Phil Burleigh slots in for Shaun Treeby, who broke his cheekbone against the Sharks last weekend.
Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Siale Piutau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Adam Thomson, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 Chris King.
Subs: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Kendrick Lynn.