The BNZ Crusaders, fresh from the bye, will host the Lions this week in Christchurch, and Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his side to take the field on Friday night. 

190424CrusaderTraining 14

Image courtesy of Photosport- Official Photographer of the BNZ Crusaders


In the forwards, Codie Taylor returns to start at hooker and, with both Scott Barrett and Matt Todd on All Blacks rest, Quinten Strange and Billy Harmon have been given an opportunity to start against the Lions. Mitch Dunshea has also been named in the match day team, providing cover in the number 19 jersey.  

Mitch Drummond will start at halfback for this game and Ereatara Enari takes a spot in the reserves. There is a reshuffle in the backline with George Bridge returning to the left wing, Braydon Ennor moving in from the wing to the midfield and Sevu Reece lining up on the right wing. 

Finally, 20 year-old Ngane Punivai is set to make his debut for the Crusaders on Friday night, having been named on the bench for this clash with the Lions. 

Kick off in the BNZ Crusaders' Investec Super Rugby match against the Lions is Friday 26 April, 7:35pm (NZT), at Christchurch Stadium in Addington.

BNZ Crusaders team to play the Lions:

1. Joe Moody RESERVES
2. Codie Taylor 16. Ben Funnell
3. Michael Alaalatoa 17. Harry Allan
4. Quinten Strange 18. Oliver Jager
5. Sam Whitelock (C) 19. Mitchell Dunshea
6. Whetukamokamo Douglas 20. Jordan Taufua
7. Billy Harmon 21. Ereatara Enari
8. Kieran Read 22. Mitchell Hunt
9. Mitchell Drummond 23. Ngane Punivai*
10. Richie Mo'unga  
11. George Bridge  
12. Ryan Crotty (VC)  
13. Braydon Ennor  
14. Sevu Reece  
15. David Havili  

*denotes Investec Super Rugby debut


As well as traditional Anzac Day commemorations, this week's match is an opportunity for the Crusaders to deliver a comprehensive ‘Salute To Service’ event thanks to PlaceMakers 
Canterbury, allowing the Crusaders rugby club and fans to acknowledge all service men and women across the Crusaders region. To read more about Salute to Service activity this week, click here.  

As part of the event, a curtain raiser of 10's rugby will be played between Fire & Emergency New Zealand, and the New Zealand Defence Force. Kick off is at 6:15pm on Friday night and the two teams are as follows:

Fire & Emergency New Zealand New Zealand Defence Force
1. Craig Clark 1. Lt Mark Whittaker, RNZIR 14
2. Damien Ensor 2. Sgt Matthew Anker, RNZE, (Capt) 15
3. Ed Love 3. Cpl Elliott Dodge, RNZALR 11
4. Matt Boon 4. Cpl Marshall van Jaarsveld, NZAPTI 10
5. Ryan Thomson 5. L Kyran Bennett, RNZN 7
6. Jacob Rapley 6. Pte Thomas Cox, RNZALR 4
7. Tony Laugesen 7. Pte Adam Duncan, RNZALR 8
8. Brooke Retallick 8. AC Peter Faga, RNZAF 5
9. Carl Whiten 9. Spr Blake Ford, RNZE 9
10. Aaron Williams 10. Pte James Hamilton, RNZAMC 17
11. Evan Bousted 11. Pte Patch Harnett, RNZAMC 12
12. Nick Boon 12. Pte William Holdom, RNZIR 3
13. Matt Mcintyre 13. Pte Chris Lee, RNZIR 6
14. Abel Esera 14. Pte Jason Montin, RNZIR 2
15. Paul Mitchell 15. Pte Jamal Steel, RNZIR 1
16. Jared Cahill 16. AC Liam Townsend, RNZAF 13

Tickets for the BNZ Crusaders match against the Lions are available via Ticket Rocket. Click here to purchase.