The BNZ Crusaders are set to host visiting international side - the French Barbarians - this Friday night in Christchurch. The historic fixture falls during the break in the Investec Super Rugby competition, for the June international Test window. 

180303CrusadervStormsJD 048Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his BNZ Crusaders' team for the match, which includes a number of players who will wear the Crusaders' jersey for the first time. Among them are four players named on Monday in the 2018 Canterbury Mitre 10 Cup Wider Training Group - Hamish Dalzell, Rameka Poihipi, Sam Beard and Caleb Makene - as well as Tasman prop Ryan Coxon and former Chiefs hooker Seb Siataga. 

Halfback Mitchell Drummond will captain the BNZ Crusaders for the first time and will be assisted by prop Michael Alaalatoa and wing Israel Dagg, who have been named as vice-captains.

As well as the six BNZ Crusaders debutants in the match day side, the team also features returning loose forward Whetu Douglas, who has recently signed on with both the Super Rugby club and the Canterbury Mitre 10 Cup side for the next two seasons. Douglas will wear the No. 20 jersey on Friday night. 

Robertson said there is plenty of energy among the group in anticipation for this match: "Some of these players not only have the chance to represent the Crusaders for the first time on Friday night, they have the unique opportunity to do so against a quality international side in the French Barbarians - so there is genuine excitement in the group this week and we are pleased to be giving these 23 men the chance to be involved in such a special match."

To mark the occasion, the BNZ Crusaders will perform their haka 'Takina Te Kawa' before the game, which they debuted against the British and Irish Lions last year during their tour to New Zealand. The winner of the match will receive a commemorative sword.

Kick off is 7:35pm, Friday 15 June, at AMI Stadium in Christchurch. To purchase tickets for the match, click here.


BNZ Crusaders team to play the French Barbarians:

1.        Donald Brighouse
RESERVES
2.        Andrew Makalio 16.    Seb Siataga*
3.        Michael Alaalatoa (VC) 17.    Ryan Coxon*
4.        Quinten Strange 18.    Chris King
5.        Hamish Dalzell* 19.    Luke Romano
6.        Mitchell Dunshea 20.    Whetu Douglas
7.        Billy Harmon 21.    Jack Stratton
8.        Ethan Blackadder 22.    Sam Beard*
9.        Mitchell Drummond (C) 23.    Caleb Makene*
10.      Mike Delany  
11.      Jone Macilai  
12.      Rameka Poihipi*  
13.      Tima Faingaanuku  
14.      Israel Dagg (VC)  
15.      Mitchell Hunt  


* denotes BNZ Crusaders debut


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.