Highlanders through to semis

RNZ reports tries either side of halftime from winger Waisake Naholo and number eight Liam Squire and five points from the boot of flyhalf Lima Sopoaga were enough to send the Highlanders into the last four and end Australian interest in the competition.

The Brumbies had three penalties from flyhalf Christian Lealiifano but struggled for penetration in attack and were unable to convert the few chances they created into tries, even when camped on the Highlanders line for the last seven minutes.

Sopoaga excited to play with hero

Highlanders first five Lima Sopoaga and Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst will make their first appearances in the black jersey against South Africa on Sunday morning.

Sopoaga says playing inside Ma'a Nonu has been just a dream until now.

"Y'know I grew up in the 04 looking up to Nonu, never did I imagine playing a test with him, especially at Ellis Park in the ten jumper."

Sopoaga says Highlanders coaches Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown told him to strip back his game.