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Crusaders make changes for final regular season home game

The Crusaders are preparing for their last regular season home game in Christchurch and several players are set to get an opportunity this week, with Head Coach Scott Robertson making changes across the park for Friday night's fixture against the Western Force. 


Robertson has rested George Bower, Sam Whitelock, Richie Mo'unga and Sevu Reece, which sees Tamaiti Williams and Fergus Burke come in to the starting side at loosehead prop and first five-eighth respectively, while Manasa Mataele will move to the right wing. 


Mitchell Dunshea will once again partner Scott Barrett at lock, having stepped in late last week with Quinten Strange ruled out by a neck injury. Robertson has also called on the experience of 135-game veteran, Luke Romano, who will provide cover at lock in the absence of Whitelock. 


In the backs Bryn Hall will start at nine, while Braydon Ennor returns from a shoulder injury to join Vice-Captain David Havili as the midfield pairing. 


The inclusion of Isileli Tu'ungafasi, Tom Sanders, and Josh McKay round out the changes to the Crusaders 23 for this week, and Robertson said they're all ready to take their opportunity: "Those guys have trained extremely hard, and they're deserving of their opportunity this week, so it's great to see the energy and excitement building towards this game.


"We know we need to perform, and we want to do so for the people of our region who have been going through a tough time this past week. The team we've selected is ready to do that."


Kick off in the Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman match between the Crusaders and the Western Force is 7:05pm (NZT) Friday 4 June, at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch. 


The match will also be televised live on Sky Sport 1, with commentary available in Samoan to celebrate Samoa Language Week 2021 which runs from 30 May-5 June. To access commentary in Samoan, simply choose the yellow button on your Sky remote and select the alternate language. 

Crusaders team to play the Western Force:


1.   Tamaiti Williams

2.   Codie Taylor (VC)

3.   Michael Alaalatoa

4.   Scott Barrett (C)

5.   Mitchell Dunshea

6.   Whetukamokamo Douglas

7.   Sione Havili Talitui

8.   Cullen Grace

9.   Bryn Hall

10. Fergus Burke

11. Leicester Fainga'anuku

12. David Havili (VC)

13. Braydon Ennor

14. Manasa Mataele

15. Will Jordan 





16. Nathan Vella

17. Isileli Tu'ungafasi

18. Oliver Jager

19. Luke Romano

20. Tom Sanders

21. Mitchell Drummond

22. Dallas McLeod

23. Josh McKay