Highlanders start All Black Waisake Naholo against Stormers

Waisake Naholo is back, again.

A week after Naholo was named to face the Lions and then withdrawn, the All Blacks wing has been handed a start against the Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday (1.05am, NZ time).

Naholo goes straight back into the No 14 jersey for the crucial game against the Stormers, with the Highlanders desperate for a win to keep themselves in a playoffs spot before they have a bye week.

"Waisake has come through the week well," Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger said on Friday.

"He was close last week and what we managed to do at the back end of the week was get some really good conditioning into him.

"He's fronted really well. 

"He's in top shape at the moment and it's a credit to our S+C staff and our medical staff and we're confident he'll get through a big part of the game on Saturday."

Naholo has not played since the round six loss to the Blues and is running out of time to impress the All Blacks selectors, but a big game in Cape Town would put him right back in the picture.

The Highlanders have also recalled big lock Pari Pari Parkinson to the starting side.

Parkinson's size will be an asset against the giant Stormers pack that features Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth.

Marty Banks also returns for the Highlanders on the bench, having flown to South Africa earlier in the week  as a replacement for Teihorangi Walden, who was ruled out of the game due to concussion.

Sio Tomkinson makes the shift from wing to No 12, while Elliot Dixon also comes back into the No 8 jersey in the place of Shannon Frizell, who is moved to the bench.

The Highlanders are seventh on the overall ladder with 29 competition points, but the Stormers are just three points behind with a game in hand.

Highly regarded Australia ref Nic Berry will take charge of the game and the Highlanders will be hoping for some consistency after being on the wrong side of a 12-3 penalty count against the Lions last weekend.

Highlanders to face Stormers: Matt Faddes, Waisake Naholo, Rob Thompson, Sio Tomkinson, Jordan Hyland, Josh Ioane, Aaron Smith, Elliot Dixon, Luke Whitelock (c), James Lentjes, Tom Franklin, Pari Pari Parkinson, Tyrel Lomax, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Josh Dickson, Shannon Frizell, Kayne Hammington, Marty Banks, Thomas Umaga-Jensen