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Head coach Tim Sampson has made three changes to the starting XV to take on the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday night.

Former All Black Jeremy Thrush will move up to the starting lock position to play alongside Wallaby Izack Rodda. The two international players will bring significant experience to the forward pack. Ryan McCauley moves to the reserves.

Scrumhalf Ian Prior will also rejoins the starting line-up after Issak Fines-Leleiwasa was ruled out of selection with a foot injury sustained against the Crusaders. Palmyra Rugby Club player Michael McDonald will join the reserves.

Having successfully completed his HIA protocols, Manasa Mataele will play in the 11 jersey with winger Byron Ralston at 14.

Andrew Ready continues as the starting hooker, with captain Feleti Kaitu’u named on the bench.

Brynard “The Bull” Stander and former All Black and Highlanders player Richard Kahui both come onto the bench. The duo brings over 165 Super Rugby games of experience between them.

Homegrown centre Kyle Godwin will lead the side as run-on captain.

Round 13 Team list