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Scott Barrett returns to lead the Crusaders against the Waratahs

Crusaders Captain Scott Barrett re-joined the team in Coogee this week and will resume the captaincy on Saturday evening when the team takes on the Waratahs in Wollongong.


Barrett's return is one of a few changes in the forwards this week, with head knocks to loose forward Ethan Blackadder and reserve hooker Brodie McAlister against the Reds seeing them both return home to New Zealand. Sam Whitelock also moves to the bench for this game on managed minutes. 


Head Coach Scott Robertson has named Michael Alaalatoa to start ahead of Oli Jager, while Barrett will be joined by Quinten Strange as the starting locks to face the Waratahs. Blackadder has been replaced in the number seven jersey by Sione Havili Talitui from the bench while Nathan Vella, who has been with the squad since the beginning of Super Rugby Aotearoa as injury replacement for Andrew Makalio, is set to make his Crusaders debut this week as cover for Codie Taylor at hooker. 


Robertson has also elected to rest Vice-Captain David Havili completely for this game, which means 22-year-old Dallas McLeod earns a start in the midfield alongside Braydon Ennor. McLeod's inclusion at second five-eighth is the only change to the backline this week. 


The Crusaders are currently based in Coogee, and will travel to Wollongong after Captain's Run on Friday afternoon.


Kick off in the Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman match between the Crusaders and Waratahs is 5:05pm (NZT) at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, and you can watch this live on Sky Sport in New Zealand.


Crusaders team to play the Waratahs:


1.   George Bower

2.   Codie Taylor (VC)

3.   Michael Alaalatoa

4.   Quinten Strange

5.   Scott Barrett (C)

6.   Whetukamokamo Douglas

7.   Sione Havili Talitui

8.   Cullen Grace

9.   Mitchell Drummond

10. Richie Mo'unga

11. Leicester Fainga'anuku

12. Dallas McLeod

13. Braydon Ennor

14. Sevu Reece

15. Will Jordan 





16. Nathan Vella*

17. Tamaiti Williams

18. Oliver Jager

19. Samuel Whitelock

20. Mitchell Dunshea

21. Bryn Hall

22. Fergus Burke

23. Manasa Mataele


*denotes Crusaders debut