Highlanders rest Ben Smith, bench Shannon Frizell

Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger has retained most of his XV to face the Sunwolves, but they will be without a rested Ben Smith on Friday.

Matt Faddes moves to full-back to cover for Smith while Patelesio Tomkinson starts on the wing to accommodate the return of Rob Thompson at centre. Aaron Smith also returns to the starting line-up.

In the forwards, the free-scoring Shannon Frizell makes way for the captain, Luke Whitelock, at six with Elliot Dixon retaining his spot at number eight following some good form over the last few weeks.

The bench will have a six/two split with Dillon Hunt being included in the forwards mix, Kayne Hammington and Bryn Gatland will cover the backs.

The Highlanders will be eager to build on last week’s home win over the Blues that ended a run of six games without a victory.

Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Patelesio Tomkinson, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Luke Whitelock (c), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Dillon Hunt

Date: Friday, April 26 Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo Kick-off: 19:00 local (11:00 BST, 10:00 GMT) Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand) Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Shuhei Kubo (Japan) TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)