Highlanders name rookie Scott Gregory at fullback to face Blues

The Highlanders have made just one change to their starting side to face the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday, with rookie Scott Gregory starting at fullback.

Highlanders' Scott Gregory against the Waratahs Source: Photosport

Following their 28-27 victory over the Chiefs in the opening match of the Super Rugby season, the Highlanders have largely kept the faith with the side, Gregory the only change to the starting side. Gregory replaces New Zealand sevens star Vilimoni Koroi in the 15 jersey.

The start means 21-year-old Gregory will make just his second appearance in a Highlanders jersey on Saturday night.

However, Aaron Mauger is keeping the faith with Mitch Hunt at first-five, not starting with Bryn Gatland - despite his heroics in kicking the match winning drop goal two weeks ago.

On the bench, Ngane Punivai is the only change, seeing Koroi drop out of the 23 altogether.

All Blacks duo Josh Ioane (groin) and Nehe Milner-Skudder (shoulder) both remain unavailable due to injury.

Highlanders: 15. Scott Gregory, 14. Sam Gilbert, 13. Rob Thompson, 12. Sio Tomkinson, 11. Jona Nareki, 10. Mitch Hunt, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Marino Mikaele Tu'u, 7. Dillon Hunt, 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Josh Dickson, 4. Pari Pari Parkinson, 3. Siate Tokolahi, 2. Ash Dixon, 1. Ayden Johnstone.

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