The Vodacom Super Rugby clash in Johannesburg starts at 15h05 and will televised live on SuperSport1.
Emirates Lions coach Swys de Bruin also announced changes to the loose trio and front row from the team that beat the Waratahs last weekend.
Dylan Smith comes in for Sti Sithole at loosehead prop, while Kwagga Smith moves from flank to No 8 in the absence of Whiteley. Marnus Schoeman takes over the No 6 jersey duties from Smith, while Cyle Brink will don the No 7 jersey in place of Vincent Tshituka.
The Highvelders held on to a nail-biting 29-28 win over a Waratahs side in Joburg and they will have to deliver an improved effort if they want to topple the Highlanders. The Pride of Jozi need a good performance if they want to keep alive their playoff hopes.
Looking at the history of previous games between the two sides, then both teams have won six times in the 12 fixtures between them to date. Interestingly, each side were alternate winners in the last 10 times they have faced each other.
What they said:
Emirates Lions prop Dylan Smith said their scrum will have to be even better against the Kiwis: “The Highlanders are a great scrummaging pack and we have to stick to our system. We scrummed well last week against the Waratahs, but we know we have to improve this week.”
Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi; 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje; 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Tyrone Green.
Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Sio Tomkinson, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Shannon Frizell, 7 Luke Whitelock (captain), 6 Dillon Hunt, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone. Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Dan Hollinshead, 23 Waisake Naholo.
Head to head:
Emirates Lions: 6
Highlanders won: 6
Emirates Lions points: 309
Highlanders points: 325
Average score: 26-27
Date: Saturday, 18 May 2019
SA time: 15h05
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Griffin Colby
Television Match Official: Willie Vos