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Jack Goodhue makes his Super Rugby return in Crusaders team to play Melbourne Rebels

The Crusaders are now preparing for a four-match tour across the Tasman, starting with their Anzac weekend fixture against the Rebels in Melbourne on Sunday evening.

The last game in DHL Super Rugby Pacific's 'Super Round' will see the welcome return of Crusaders and All Blacks midfielder, Jack Goodhue, from the significant knee injury which has sidelined him for the past 12 months. He'll start alongside Braydon Ennor, with David Havili being rested this week. 

There are two further changes in the Crusaders backline to face the Rebels; Mitch Drummond joins the run-on team at halfback in place of Bryn Hall, while Will Jordan will sit out this weekend's match altogether and George Bridge takes the starting spot at fullback.

In the forwards, Joe Moody has been ruled out of the Crusaders tour of Australia with a knee injury he sustained against the Blues, meaning fellow All Black George Bower will start at loosehead prop and Tamaiti Williams joins the reserves. 

In the Crusaders' second-row stocks, Sam Whitelock makes a timely return in the absence of regular Captain Scott Barrett (suspension), while there is a reshuffle in the loose forwards with Tom Christie also rested this week, which sees Ethan Blackadder move to openside flanker, and Pablo Matera step into the starting side at six. 

Hooker Codie Taylor will Captain the side in the interim, while Whitelock and first five-eighth, Richie Mo'unga, have been named Vice-Captains. 


Crusaders Injury Update: Joe Moody twisted his right knee in last Friday's match against the Blues in Christchurch. The Crusaders medical team is continuing to gather more information about the extent of his injury before making a return to play plan for Joe, but he will not be travelling with the team to Australia. Further detail, including a return to play timeframe, will be clearer within the next couple of weeks and an update provided as this information is available. 

Kick off in the Crusaders match against the Melbourne Rebels is 6:30pm NZT, Sunday 24th April at AAMI Park in Melbourne. The match will be televised live on Sky Sport. 


Crusaders team to play the Melbourne Rebels:

1.   George Bower
2.   Codie Taylor (C)
3.   Oli Jager
4.   Zach Gallagher
5.   Sam Whitelock (VC)
6.   Pablo Matera
7.   Ethan Blackadder
8.   Cullen Grace
9.   Mitch Drummond
10. Richie Mo'unga (VC)
11. Leicester Fainga'anuku
12. Jack Goodhue
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sevu Reece
15. George Bridge

16. Ricky Jackson
17. Tamaiti Williams
18. Fletcher Newell
19. Dominic Gardiner
20. Corey Kellow
21. Bryn Hall
22. Fergus Burke
23. Chay Fihaki