BNZ Crusaders Beat Reds In Pre-Season

The St.George Queensland Reds have lost 31-3 to the BNZ Crusaders in their opening pre-season match at Ballymore Stadium. 

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$2 million up for grabs with Mobil Golden Boots

Some of the world’s best goal kickers have hailed from here, and now BNZ Crusaders fans will have the chance to join the goal kicking hall of fame and earn a share of $2 million in the process. This season’s new Mobil Golden Boots competition will see one lucky fan at each home game attempt to kick their way to $250k, thanks to Mobil and the BNZ Crusaders.

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BNZ Crusaders team named for pre-season game against Reds

The BNZ Crusaders will kick their pre-season off with a game against the Queensland Reds this Saturday.  A raft of players are set to pull on the BNZ Crusaders strip for the first time, and a new captain will lead the team onto Ballymore Stadium.

Fourth season Crusader Jimmy Tupou will step into the captaincy role for the first time, leading a squad of 28 that includes 8 uncapped Super Rugby players and a further 5 players who are yet to earn a BNZ Crusaders cap.

In the front row, Alex Hodgman will pack down with new squad member Mike Alaalatoa, and Ged Robinson brings a wealth of experience to the hooker role.  A hugely experienced pack including Codie Taylor, Ben Funnell and Joe Moody will be waiting on the bench, and young prop Oliver Jager may also get his chance to test himself out at Super Rugby level.

Luke Romano and Scott Barrett pair up at lock, with Sam Whitelock and Mitchell Dunshea providing cover.  Tim Boys and Jordan Taufua join Jimmy Tupou in the loose forwards, and Reed Prinsep will be looking for a run off the bench.

Leon Fukofuka will make his debut at halfback, with Mitchell Drummond ready to take the reins from the reserves.  Ben Volavola and Richie Mo’unga will both get a chance to play at first five, with Volavola in the starting spot and Mo’unga in the reserves.  Marty McKenzie, meanwhile, will bring some useful experience to the fullback position.

The remainder of the backline will be made up of Jone Macilai and the uncapped Sione Fifita on the wings, plus David Havili and debutant Sean Wainui in the midfield.  Kieron Fonotia, Mitchell Hunt, Johnny McNicholl and Nemani Nadolo will all be preparing to add some firepower from the bench.

Kick-off is at 10:30pm NZT (7:30pm local time), Saturday 6 February, and the BNZ Crusaders leave for Brisbane on Friday morning.

 

BNZ Crusaders team to play the Queensland Reds:

1.             Alex Hodgman

2.             Ged Robinson *

3.             Mike Alaalatoa *

4.             Luke Romano

5.             Scott Barrett

6.             Jimmy Tupou (c)

7.             Tim Boys *

8.             Jordan Taufua

9.             Leon Fukofuka **

10.          Ben Volavola *

11.          Sione Fifita **

12.          David Havili

13.          Sean Wainui **

14.          Jone Macilai

15.          Marty McKenzie *

RESERVES

Codie Taylor

Ben Funnell

Joe Moody

Oliver Jager **

Samuel Whitelock

Mitchell Dunshea **

Reed Prinsep **

Mitchell Drummond

Richie Mo’unga **

Kieron Fonotia

Mitchell Hunt **

Johnny McNicholl

Nemani Nadolo

* indicates no BNZ Crusaders caps

** indicates no Super Rugby caps

2016 BNZ Crusaders captains confirmed

Kieran Read will again captain the BNZ Crusaders in 2016, and Sam Whitelock will be the vice captain as well as the interim captain until Read returns to play.  

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BNZ Crusaders hitting the regions to lend a hand

The BNZ Crusaders are seeking nominations for community projects and people who deserve a good turn in the Timaru, Ashburton, North Canterbury and Banks Peninsula regions.  The squad will head to these regions on 27 January and will be making themselves available to lend a hand to some good causes.

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