Coltman to raise bat against 'Tahs at Rugby Park
Highlanders stalwart Liam Coltman will play his 100th game for the club when he takes the field against the NSW Waratahs in Invercargill on Friday night.
Coltman who has only missed one game this year has been in outstanding form all season and was recently voted player of the year at the club’s awards night.
Co-captain, Ben Smith’s, troublesome hamstring has not recovered sufficiently enough for him to take his place in the 23 despite training with the team this week. In a statement Head Coach, Aaron Mauger, said, “Ben worked extremely hard to be available for his team this week, unfortunately he is still a little short of being match ready”.
Elsewhere, Teihorangi Walden is restored to the midfield and Daniel Lienert-Brown and Elliot Dixon will form part of a six/two: forward/back reserve bench for what is shaping as a season defining game for the Highlanders, their top eight aspirations rely on a strong winning performance against the Waratahs. If they achieve five points from the match, they will have to anxiously await other results throughout the weekend.
Pulse Energy Highlanders v Waratahs - 7.35pm, Friday 14th June, Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Luke Whitelock (c)
Unavailable due to injury: Ben Smith (hamstring)
Season ending injuries: Tevita Nabura (knee), Richard Buckman (achilles), Bryn Gatland (foot)
Notes on Liam Coltman
Highlander #199 Coltman made his debut for the Highlanders in 2013 as back up to All Black Andrew Hore, after making his debut for Otago in 2010.In the same year he represented the NZ U20 at the Junior World Cup Championship in Argentina, with the team going on to win that tournament. His All Black debut made his debut was in 2016 against Italy in Rome. He has made four appearances for the All Blacks to date. A product of Francis Douglas Memorial College which has also produced the Barrett brothers and teammate Teihorangi Walden.