*Full Team at Bottom of Article*
The Crusaders have named their side to face the Blues in Christchurch in Round 12 of Super Rugby Pacific.
The boys are back at home again on Saturday 13 May in front of what’s looking like a sell-out crowd at Orangetheory Stadium. You’d expect nothing less when it’s one of the biggest derbies possible in Super Rugby – Crusaders v Blues has been a momentous fixture for generations. It all goes down Saturday night, kick off at 7.05pm.
Both Oli Jager and Leicester Fainga’anuku celebrate 50 games with the Crusaders on Saturday, pleased to reach the milestone but laser-focused on the task at hand.
The red and black front a solid side to face our northern rivals, backed up by a bench ready to make an impact. Scott Barrett leads the group in the 4 Jersey, with Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Tamaiti Williams – our in-form front row – resuming their duties. Plenty of points were put on the Force last week from set piece, so the forwards are looking to continue that momentum.
Quin Strange, Christian Lio-Willie, Tom Christie and Cullen Grace round out the back five. Earlier in the week veteran prop Joe Moody said, “we know we have the power throughout our back give, so…we need to keep the front row up so we can utilise that power”. Expect a big push through these guys, hoping to reap rewards.
Mitchell Drummond resumes his starting position at halfback after Noah Hotham started last week. The youngest ever player to clock 100 games for the franchise, Drummond brings maturity and huge experience. He lines up alongside Richie Mo’unga. When these two long-term team mates are on the field together, intuition is high.
Leicester Fainga’anuku runs the left wing, Dallas McLeod runs the right. These guys are a different breed, so keep an eye out for straight line breaks and aerial acrobatics.
David Havili and Braydon Ennor round out the centre, with playmaker Will Jordan in fullback for his second start of the season.
There you have it. All that’s left is the anticipation of kick off. Crusaders v Blues. The showdown is on.
Will you be there?