The BNZ Crusaders will host the Bulls at home this week, following two rounds of Investec Super Rugby on the road. Friday night's match will be their last game in Christchurch for three weeks, as the team are due to fly out for the South African and Argentinian leg of their Super Rugby campaign on Monday.

Head Coach Scott Robertson has made five changes to the starting line-up from the side that played the Highlanders in Dunedin last Saturday night, including the return of Captain Sam Whitelock and Vice-Captain Ryan Crotty from their respective concussions. 

Prop Tim Perry also returns to the BNZ Crusaders team, having made a successful return from injury for the Crusaders Knights in recent weeks. Perry will start, and Wyatt Crockett takes a spot on the bench. Flanker Billy Harmon will earn his second start for the Crusaders on Friday night; he replaces Vice-Captain Matt Todd, who took a knock to the ribs and will be rested this week. The only other change to the back line sees Manasa Mataele start on the right wing in place of Seta Tamanivalu. 

On the reserves bench Quinten Strange will wear the No. 19 jersey this week, and Tom Sanders returns in jersey No. 20 having successfully recovered from the fractured ankle he sustained during the pre-season. Brett Cameron will again provide first five-eighth cover on the bench, while Braydon Ennor could earn his first Super Rugby cap on Friday night if called on in the reserves. 

Kick off is 7:35pm, Friday 23 March, at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

 


BNZ Crusaders team to play the Bulls:

1.        Tim Perry
RESERVES
2.        Codie Taylor 16.    Ben Funnell
3.        Michael Alaalatoa 17.    Wyatt Crockett
4.        Scott Barrett 18.    Oliver Jager
5.        Sam Whitelock (C) 19.    Quinten Strange
6.        Heiden Bedwell-Curtis 20.    Tom Sanders
7.        Billy Harmon 21.    Bryn Hall 
8.        Jordan Taufua 22.    Brett Cameron
9.        Mitchell Drummond  23.    Braydon Ennor
10.      Mitchell Hunt  
11.      George Bridge  
12.      Ryan Crotty (VC)  
13.      Jack Goodhue  
14.      Manasa Mataele  
15.      David Havili

 

Tickets for all of the BNZ Crusaders 2018 Investec Super Rugby games are available via www.ticketdirect.co.nz, or at one of Ticket Direct's official outlets. Please avoid purchasing tickets through resale sites such as Viagogo, as these tickets won't be accepted at AMI Stadium.