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Highlanders named to face Chiefs

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thehighlanders.co.nz and James Mortimer     21 Mar 2013     Getty Images

King made his debut for the Highlanders in 2005 and will join a small and illustrious group of centurions, with only Anton Oliver (127 games) and Jimmy Cowan (108 games) also to reach 100 games while playing for the southern franchise.

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, commented that King’s achievement is testament to his attitude and professionalism; both on and off the field.

‘Chris has a very professional approach to his rugby. He trains hard, has great technique and gives his all for 80 minutes while on the park. He’s been a great leader both on and off the field, and these attributes have made him a player who has been selected week in and week out for our team’.

King has his second start for the season, and third appearance. Three changes have been made to the run-on XV that played the Hurricanes in Dunedin last Friday night.

In the forwards, Liam Coltman makes his first start for the Highlanders with both Andrew Hore and Brayden Mitchell on the injured list. Josh Bekhuis returns to lock and Jarrad Hoeata moves to blindside flanker and Joe Wheeler moves to the bench. In the backs, Ma’a Nonu returns to second five, while Phil Burleigh will provide impact from the reserves. Jason Rutledge returns to the Highlanders as injury cover for Hore and Mitchell. Frae Wilson also joins the Highlanders’ reserves for the first time.

Brad Thorn will captain the team.

Highlanders v Chiefs, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton – Friday 22 March, 7.35pm (NZ Time).

1. Tony Woodcock
2. Liam Coltman
3. Chris King
4. Brad Thorn (Captain)
5. Josh Bekhuis
6. Jarrad Hoeata
7. John Hardie
8. Elliot Dixon
9. Aaron Smith
10. Colin Slade
11. Hosea Gear (Vice-captain)
12. Ma’a Nonu
13. Jason Emery
14. Kade Poki
15. Ben Smith

Reserves

16. Jason Rutledge
17. Bronson Murray
18. Joe Wheeler
19. Tim Boys
20. Frae Wilson
21. Lima Sopoaga
22. Phil Burleigh