BNZ Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his team to face the Chiefs at home this Saturday evening, including a number of changes and two Investec Super Rugby debutants. 

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Photo Credit: Photosport

 

In the forwards, Owen Franks and Matt Todd will be rested this week, and Michael Alaalatoa and Billy Harmon will start. George Bower could earn his first Super Rugby cap if called on to replace Alaalatoa at tighthead prop.

In the second row, Mitch Dunshea has earned his first start of the season and will partner Scott Barrett at lock. The final change in the loose forwards will see Jordan Taufua start on the blindside. 

In the backs, Ereatara Enari has earned his first Super Rugby start at halfback. Braydon Ennor moves to the left wing and Sevu Reece will also make his debut on the right wing. 

Ryan Crotty returns this week to start at second five-eighth and will also Captain the side in the absence of Matt Todd. Whetukamokamo Douglas and the returning Codie Taylor have been named as Vice-Captains.  

On the reserves bench, Ethan Blackadder will provide loose forward cover and Brett Cameron joins the side this week, replacing Mitch Hunt who was concussed in last week's match against the Reds. 


The BNZ Crusaders versus Chiefs match is due to kick off at 5:15pm , Saturday 9 March, at Christchurch Stadium in Addington. Tickets are still available via Ticket Rocket.



BNZ Crusaders team to play the Chiefs:


1. Joe Moody RESERVES
2. Andrew Makalio 16. Codie Taylor (VC)
3. Michael Alaalatoa 17. Harry Allan
4. Mitchell Dunshea 18. George Bower*
5. Scott Barrett 19. Luke Romano
6. Jordan Taufua 20. Ethan Blackadder
7. Billy Harmon 21. Bryn Hall
8. Whetukamokamo Douglas (VC) 22. Brett Cameron
9. Ereatara Enari 23. David Havili
10. Richie Mo'unga  
11. Braydon Ennor  
12. Ryan Crotty (C)  
13. Jack Goodhue   
14. Sevu Reece*  
15. Will Jordan  


* denotes Investec Super Rugby debut


The Crusaders Knights also have a fixture on Saturday, and will take on the Highlanders Bravehearts development side at Christchurch Rugby Club.

Head Coach Nathan Mauger said: "We're really looking forward to playing at home once again this week. The side had two good hit outs against Sydney University and Hurricanes development, and we've had a good week preparing to face our southern neighbours on Saturday afternoon.

"There are just two Crusaders squad members in the side for this game, which presents a fantastic opportunity for our emerging young players to get out there and express themselves against what we expect will be a competitive Highlanders development side," Mauger said. 

Kick off in the Knights versus Bravehearts match is 1:30pm, Saturday 9 March at Christchurch Rugby Club. 


Crusaders Knights team to play Highlanders Bravehearts:

1. Chris Gawler RESERVES
2. Ben Funnell 16. Nic Souchon
3. Blair Prinsep 17. Sam Matenga
4. Kane Le'aupepe 18. Samu Tawake
5. Michael Curry 19. Josh Bokser
6. Anty Burnett 20. Jacob Norris
7. Tom Christie 21. Luke Donaldson
8. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta 22. William Havili
9. Connor Collins 23. Chay Fihaki
10. Fergus Burke 24. Rupena Parkinson
11. Leicester Faingaanuku 25. Zach McKay
12. Dallas McLeod  
13. Isaiah Punivai  
14. Jamie Spowart  
15. Sam Gilbert