Elliot Dixon will make his long awaited return from injury for the Southland Stags in Wednesday night's NPC rugby game against Tasman in Blenheim.
The hard-running No 8 has been sidelined since May after suffering a chest injury, while playing for the Highlanders against the Sharks in Durban.
Dixon's return means Eastern Northern Barbarians loose forward Scott McKee, who debuted against Otago last week, switches to blindside flanker.Stags coach David Henderson has handed a starting debut to young winger Junior Ngaluafe, with Mark Wells also gaining his first start of the year, on the left wing.
Highlanders' outside back Kade Poki moves into centre with Nathan Hohaia dropping to the bench.
Wednesday night's game shapes as a season-defining one for the Stags, who have lost all three games so far this year.S
Stags team to face Tasman:
Marty McKenzie, Junior Ngaluafe, Kade Poki, Cardiff Vaega, Mark Wells, Robbie Robinson, Jimmy Cowan, Elliot Dixon, Alex Taylor, Scott McKee, Michael Fatialofa, Josh Bekhuis, Nick Barrett, Talemaitoga Tuapati, Jamie Mackintosh (c)
Reserves: Jason Rutledge, Micheal Peterson, Alex Ryan, Hoani Macdonald, Nemia Kenatale, Scott Eade, Nathan Hohaia.