Highlanders bring Scott Gregory back into starting side for Hurricanes clash

The Highlanders have named a largely unchanged lineup to face the Hurricanes this Sunday as they look to bounce back from their 40-20 loss to the Crusaders last week.

Scott Gregory Source: Photosport

Winger Scott Gregory, 21, comes back into the starting XV, replacing Ngatungane Punivai who is ruled out of the clash in the capital with concussion.

After sustaining a broken leg during last week's encounter with the Crusaders, Josh Dixon will miss the rest of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season, with Jack Whetton coming into the starting lineup in his place.

Prop Siate Tokolahi is also named in the starting lineup and will play his 50th match for the Highlanders after sigining with the franchise in 2017.

Highlanders head Coach Aaron Mauger didn't play down the challenge ahead, highlighting their recent history in Wellington, with the 2015 Super Rugby final being the last time the Highlanders beat the Hurricanes at home. 

“Our record in Wellington hasn’t been great in recent times so we are under no illusions about the difficulty of playing the Hurricanes in Wellington. We have shown a lot of resolve in the last month or so, but we will need to be at our best again” Mauger said.

Both sides have only won one of three games this season. However, the Highlanders sit one place ahead of the Hurricanes in the standings with only one point separating them.

Highlanders: 1. Ayden Johnstone, 2. Ash Dixon (cc), 3. Siate Tokolahi, 4. Pari Pari Parkinson, 5. Jack Whetton, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Dillon Hunt, 8. Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 9. Aaron Smith (cc), 10. Mitch Hunt, 11. Jona Nareki, 12. Patelesio Tomkinson, 13. Rob Thompson, 14. Scott Gregory, 15. Michael Collins

Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20. Jesse Parete, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Bryn Gatland, 23. Teariki Ben-Nicholas