The Highlanders have already booked a spot within the finals however nonetheless have quite a bit to show to their New Zealand counterparts. They meet an unpredictable Reds outfit that can be trying to be the primary Australian aspect to defeat a New Zealand workforce this season.
The Reds have made two modifications to their aspect that narrowly beat the Brumbies final weekend. Caleb Timu will make his run-on debut at blindside flanker, after impressing in his Super Rugby debut off the bench final weekend, whereas Rob Simmons returns to his common position of beginning lock, with Kane Douglas shifting to the bench.
Star middle Samu Kerevi injured a muscle within the health club on Monday which has dominated him out of this match so Campbell Magnay begins within the centre.
The Highlanders have had a couple of weeks off because of the Lions collection. They have named an analogous workforce to the aspect that defeated the Lions in June, resting all blacks Aaron and Ben Smith. Liam Squire, who has been side-lined with damage since spherical 11 after breaking his thumb towards the Cheetahs, returns to the beginning line up at blind aspect flanker. Maori All Black representatives, Tom Franklin and Rob Thompson make the beginning line-up and Ash Dixon is pushed to the bench.
Last time they met
April 10th 2016- Reds 28 Highlanders 27
Stats that matter
Australian franchises have a 29 recreation dropping streak towards Kiwi sides this season.
Quade Cooper vs Lima Sopoaga – Cooper was instrumental in finishing the reds comeback final week and if QLD are to have an opportunity on Friday night time, they want their fly half to fireside. Sopoaga has been comparatively quiet this season and has consequently fallen out of favour for the hotly contested All Blacks bench spot. Both 10’s have so much to show forward of rugby championship squad choices.
The Highlanders are fourth within the New Zealand convention and have wrapped up a wild card spot within the finals. However a loss to the reds might see them hand over 7th place to the Sharks. The Reds got here from behind to shock the Brumbies final week and get a win that we knew they have been able to. They have an opportunity to clinch second spot within the Australian convention with a win throughout the ditch on Friday.
How it’s shaping up
The New Zealand sides have dominated this season and the Wolf doesn’t assume that may have modified after a couple of weeks off. The highlanders might be too robust for a youthful Reds group.
Highlanders by 26