The BNZ Crusaders are preparing to face a third Australian side in as many weeks this Saturday night, and Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his side to host the Waratahs at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

Robertson has named an all-new front row this week, which features the return of All Blacks prop Joe Moody, alongside Codie Taylor and Michael Alaalatoa. Moody is yet to play a Super Rugby game in 2018 due to injury, but made a successful return to club rugby last weekend and steps in to the starting side to face the Waratahs. Wyatt Crockett and Andrew Makalio take spots on the bench, while Owen Franks has been rested this week and Donald Brighouse has been named to provide tighthead cover. 

Newly re-signed lock Scott Barrett will once again partner captain Sam Whitelock in the second row, while the loose forward trio of Pete Samu, Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua also remains unchanged.

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Bryn Hall is the starting halfback for this game and, following their successful return from injury in Melbourne, first five-eighth Richie Mo'unga and centre Jack Goodhue have retained their places in the starting team this week. Vice-captain Ryan Crotty, who also announced his re-signing with the BNZ Crusaders this week, has been rested for this game, allowing Tim Bateman to step in to the midfield alongside Goodhue. 

Powerful winger Manasa Mataele joins his uncle, Seta Tamanivalu, in the starting XV to take on the Waratahs, with both players getting the nod on the left and right wings respectively. George Bridge drops back to fullback for this match, having started on the left wing against the Rebels in Melbourne. 

Kick off is 5:15pm, Saturday 12 May, at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.


BNZ Crusaders team to play the Waratahs:

1.        Joe Moody
RESERVES
2.        Codie Taylor 16.    Andrew Makalio
3.        Michael Alaalatoa 17.    Wyatt Crockett
4.        Scott Barrett 18.    Donald Brighouse
5.        Sam Whitelock (C) 19.    Mitchell Dunshea
6.        Pete Samu 20.    Heiden Bedwell-Curtis
7.        Matt Todd (VC) 21.    Mitchell Drummond 
8.        Jordan Taufua 22.    Mitchell Hunt
9.        Bryn Hall 23.    Braydon Ennor
10.      Richie Mo'unga  
11.      Manasa Mataele  
12.      Tim Bateman  
13.      Jack Goodhue  
14.      Seta Tamanivalu  
15.      George Bridge  


Hellers 'Take a Club to Footy' provides clubs with the opportunity to head along to the BNZ Crusaders versus Waratahs game on Saturday. Kick off times for open grade club rugby in Christchurch have been brought forward to 12pm and 1.45pm, allowing fans time to get to AMI Stadium following their club matches. Click here to read more about Hellers 'Take a Club to Footy'.

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.