The DHL Super Rugby Pacific Grand Final, the big dance, the ultimate last match of a huge season.
It all goes downSaturday 24 June, 7.05pm at FMG Stadium Waikato.
The Crusaders have named their last squad of the ’23 season, including the return of departing veteran Sam Whitelock.
Crusader #142, Whitelock has played 177 games for the franchise, and the final will be his last in the No. 5 jersey.
For the third week in a row, the front row remains unchanged. Tamaiti Williams, Codie Taylor and Oliver Jager, providing consistent strength to the Crusaders formidable scrum. Williams was just last week named as a debutant in the All Blacks squad – good reward for the work he’s put in this year.
Captain Scott Barrett leads the pack at No. 4, the balance of the tight five being Sam Whitelock, Sioni Talitui, Tom Christie, and Christian Lio-Willie.
Departing playmaker and Crusaders centurion Richie Mo’unga fronts as first five once again, with Mitchell Drummond taking up duties at halfback.
Another leaving our shores at the end of 2023 is Leicester Fainga’anuku who pulls on the No. 11 jersey for the last time.
Jack Goodhue occupies No. 12, well and truly back to his stellar form for the team.
An incomporable mid-field pairing, and both recently named in the All Blacks squad, Braydon Ennor and Dallas McLeod take the field from kick off.
Will Jordan provides wisdom, speed, and an uncanny ability to predict what’s coming from fullback. Expect a solid back line with him in control.
Ready to make an impact off the bench are George Bell, Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Reuben O’Neill. Quinten Strange, Dominic Gardiner, Willi Heinz, Fergus Burke and Chay Fihaki.