The BNZ Crusaders open their 2017 Super Rugby season at home this Saturday night when they take on the Brumbies.

Head Coach Scott Robertson has named six debutants in his side, and Israel Dagg will become the latest Super Rugby centurion when he takes the field as fullback on Saturday night.
“Izzy is obviously a talented individual, but he also impresses with his commitment and positive influence within the team environment,” Robertson said. “To reach 100 Super Rugby games tonight is testament to both his undeniable skillset and determination to play at an elite level. We know our fans will be excited for him to run out on to AMI Stadium for his 100th match and as a team we want to make it a memorable one.”

Dagg will be joined in the backs by four BNZ Crusaders debutants – Bryn Hall at halfback; George Bridge and Seta Tamanivalu on the wings and Jack Goodhue at centre.  Halfback Ere Enari is also set to make his debut if he comes off the bench.    Five eighths Richie Mo’unga and Ryan Crotty complete the starting back line, while Mitchell Hunt and David Havili provide cover from the bench. 

The BNZ Crusaders forward pack is brimming with experience. Joe Moody and Owen Franks are the starting props with Wyatt Crockett and Mike Alaalatoa in reserve, and Ben Funnell and Codie Taylor will cover hooker.  Scott Barrett and new BNZ Crusaders Captain Sam Whitelock will start at lock, with Luke Romano providing cover.  Loose forwards Jordan Taufua and Matt Todd will be joined by debutant Whetu Douglas at No.8, and Pete Samu will be ready to make an impact off the bench.

In acknowledgement of the Fire and Civil Defence crews who have worked tirelessly to control the Port Hills fires, the BNZ Crusaders have linked with their sponsor Infor to provide 400 tickets to the match free of charge.  Stadium manager VBase has added a free drink with every ticket, to help ensure that these Fire Service and Civil Defence staff can enjoy a well deserved night out following a harrowing couple of weeks.

The BNZ Crusaders vs Brumbies will kick off at 7:35pm at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium, with pre-match entertainment and plenty of food and drink options at the new vendor village from 6pm when the gates open. Tickets can be purchased online at, via the new TicketDirect app or from our usual ticketing outlets of; Eastgate Mall, The Palms or Champions of the World South City.  You can now also pre-purchase a carpark pass for $5 at AMI Stadium or book the Rugby Express Park & Ride service ($5 adults & $3 kids) from TicketDirect or via the TicketDirect app.

BNZ Crusaders team to play the Brumbies:
1.  Joe Moody
2.  Ben Funnell
3.  Owen Franks
4.  Scott Barrett
5.  Sam Whitelock (C)
6.  Jordan Taufua
7.  Matt Todd (VC)
8.  Whetu Douglas *
9.  Bryn Hall *
10. Richie Mo’unga
11. George Bridge *
12. Ryan Crotty (VC)
13. Jack Goodhue *
14. Seta Tamanivalu *
15. Israel Dagg

16. Codie Taylor
17. Wyatt Crockett
18. Michael Alaalatoa
19. Luke Romano
20. Pete Samu
21. Ereatari Enari *
22. Mitchell Hunt
23. David Havili
* Crusaders debut



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