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Highlanders and Brumbies name intimidating lineups

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has named a 28-man squad to take on the Brumbies in Wagga Wagga.

The squad features most of the players who didn't take the field during last week’s first pre-season win against the Crusaders in Timaru.

Only the injured Richard Buckman, Ash Dixon and Marty Banks are yet to play and are in the party travelling to Australia.

Following the game in Wagga Wagga the team will travel to Melbourne for their final pre-season game against the Melbourne Rebels on Thursday 5th of February. Internationals Ben Smith, Aaron Smith, Malaki Fekitoa and Fumiaki Tanaka are unavailable at this stage.

1. Brendon dmonds
2. Liam Coltman
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Alex Ainley
5. Joe Wheeler
6. Gareth Evans
7. Shane Christie
8. Nasi Manu (C)
9. Scott Eade
10. Hayden Parker
11. Waisake Naholo
12. Jason Emery
13. Shaun Treeby
14. Patrick Osborne
15. Trent Renata

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Sam Anderson-Heather
17. Josh Hohneck
18. Ross Geldenhuys
19. Mark Reddish
20. Joe Latta
21. Dan Pryor
23. John Hardie
24. Josh Renton
25. Lima Sopoaga
26. Teihorangi Walden
27. Michael Collins
28. Ryan Tongia

Meanwhile the Brumbies will also take a 28-man squad - In the forwards, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander and Sam Carter will all make their first appearance for 2015 with Fardy on return from injury.

The backs will be bolstered by a large contingent of Wallabies including Tevita Kuridrani, Henry Speight, Joe Tomane and Matt Toomua.

Last week’s try-scoring trio of David Pocock, Christian Lealiifano and Sean Doyle will all feature.

Head Coach Stephen Larkham said the team are eager to prove themselves before the start of the official Super Rugby season.

“This is an important match for us and the players are keen to put their pre-season training into practice and make a big impression on Friday night,” Larkham said.

Brumbies touring squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Ben Alexander, Rory Arnold, Jarrad Butler, Sam Carter, Robbie Coleman, James Dargaville, Michael Dowsett, Sean Doyle, Blake Enever, Scott Fardy, Rod Iona, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, David Pocock, Scott Sio, Jordan Smiler, Jean-Pierre Smith, Ruan Smith, Henry Speight, Tom Staniforth, Lausii Taliauli, Joe Tomane, Matt Toomua, Ita Vaea, Mitch Wade, Nic White.