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Vice-Captain David Havili to bring up 100 games for the Crusaders in Hamilton

The Crusaders will celebrate a significant milestone in their Round 6 match against the Chiefs this weekend, with Vice-Captain David Havili set to play his 100th game for the club. 

The 27-year-old All Blacks midfielder will become the 22nd Crusaders centurion when he leads the team out onto FMG Stadium in Hamilton, and Head Coach Scott Robertson said the side is looking forward to sharing this milestone with an important leader in their group.

"David is really special to this team," Robertson said. "He's a genuine leader, who has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is now, both in cementing himself as an integral part of the Crusaders backline, and in making his way back into the All Blacks last year. It's testament to the work that he does and his character on and off the field - he's a proud Crusader and a proud Mako, who's really deserving of this acknowledgment."

The Crusaders team for Saturday night is vastly different to the side that ran out against the Chiefs a couple of weeks ago in Christchurch, with a number of players to be given an opportunity in Hamilton. Canterbury loosehead prop Finlay Brewis has been named to make his Crusaders debut, and tighthead Oli Jager returns from injury to start alongside him in the front row. Brodie McAlister, Scott Barrett and Cullen Grace have also been named to start at hooker, lock and No.8 respectively. 

Leicester Fainga'anuku will get an opportunity in the midfield this week alongside Havili, which sees George Bridge come into the side on the left wing, and Chay Fihaki will earn his third start for the Crusaders, on the right wing. 


Kick off in the Crusaders match against the Chiefs is 7:05pm, Saturday 26th March at FMG Stadium in Hamilton. The match will be televised live on Sky Sport. 

Crusaders team to play the Chiefs:

1.   Finlay Brewis*
2.   Brodie McAlister
3.   Oli Jager
4.   Scott Barrett (C)
5.   Quinten Strange
6.   Ethan Blackadder
7.   Tom Christie
8.   Cullen Grace
9.   Bryn Hall
10. Richie Mo'unga
11. George Bridge
12. David Havili (VC)**
13. Leicester Fainga'anuku
14. Chay Fihaki
15. Will Jordan

16. Codie Taylor (VC)
17. George Bower
18. Tamaiti Williams
19. Mitch Dunshea 
20. Corey Kellow
21. Mitch Drummond
22. Fergus Burke
23. Sevu Reece

*denotes Crusaders debut
**denotes 100 games for the Crusaders