Jamie Joseph has made three changes to the side that took on Chiefs last weekend

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Saturday 3 March at 06:35am (gmt).

Two changes have been made to the run-on team that beat the Chiefs in Hamilton last weekend.

Aaron Smith comes in at halfback for Jimmy Cowan who moves to the reserves and Lima Sopoaga makes his first start for the season, replacing Chris Noakes who injured his ankle in the season opener.

The reserves bench sees the return of All Black Colin Slade to the 22 and Telusa Veainu comes in for Kurt Baker who drops down to the Highlanders Development team, who are playing their Crusader counterparts at 4pm at the University grounds.

Starting XV:
1 Jamie Mackintosh (C)
2 Andrew Hore
3 Chris King
4 Josh Bekhuis
5 Nick Crosswell
6 Adam Thomson
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu
9 Aaron Smith
10 Lima Sopoaga
11 Hosea Gear
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Tamati Ellison
14 Buxton Popoali’i
15 Ben Smith

16 Jason Rutledge
17 Bronson Murray
18 Culum Retallick
19 James Haskell
20 Jimmy Cowan
21 Colin Slade
22 Telusa Veainu

Injured Update:  Jarrad Hoeata (shoulder), Siale Piutau (ankle), Kade Poki (knee), Kenny Lynn (neck), Shaun Treeby (knee), Ma’afu Fia (hamstring) & Chris Noakes (ankle).