The Crusaders will begin their 25th Investec Super Rugby season this Saturday night, when they host the Waratahs in Nelson. 

Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his team to face the Sydney-based side at Trafalgar Park, and it includes two Investec Super Rugby debutants. GettyImages 1187080541

21-year old Tom Christie has been named to start at openside flanker in place of Billy Harmon, who injured his knee during the Crusaders first pre-season match in Ashburton. Meanwhile Cullen Grace, the youngest player of any in the New Zealand Super Rugby squads at just 20 years old, has been named in the reserves. 

Round one also sees the return of All Blacks Scott Barrett, Richie Mo'unga, Jack Goodhue, Codie Taylor and Sevu Reece to the Crusaders side, and Barrett will run out for the first time as Captain. Taylor and David Havili have been named Vice-Captains of the side for 2020.

The Crusaders announced today that there will be more than just first round points on the line this weekend, with both sides also raising funds for Rural Aid. $1000 for every try scored in the match will go to Rural Aid in support of the relief effort from the Australian bushfires. Read more here. 

Kick off in the Crusaders match against the Waratahs is 7:05pm, Saturday 1st February, at Trafalgar Park in Nelson. Tickets are still available via Ticket Rocket - click here.

 

Crusaders team to play the Waratahs:

 

1.   George Bower

2.   Andrew Makalio

3.   Oliver Jager

4.   Scott Barrett (C)

5.   Mitchell Dunshea

6.   Tom Sanders

7.   Tom Christie*

8.   Whetukamokamo Douglas

9.   Mitchell Drummond

10. Richie Mo’unga

11. Leicester Faingaanuku

12. Jack Goodhue

13. Braydon Ennor

14. Will Jordan

15. David Havili (VC)

 

RESERVES:

 

16. Codie Taylor (VC)

17. Isi Tu’ungafasi

18. Michael Alaalatoa

19. Luke Romano 

20. Cullen Grace*

21. Bryn Hall

22. Brett Cameron

23. Sevu Reece

 

*denotes Investec Super Rugby debut