The BNZ Crusaders will kick off the 21st Crusade at AMI Stadium this Saturday night when they take on the Chiefs. 

Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named a run-on fifteen that includes three Crusader debutants – Tim Boys at loose forward, Richie Mo’unga at first five and Sean Wainui at centre.

It is an experienced front row of Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks that will take the field, with more valuable experience on the bench in the form of Wyatt Crockett and Ben Funnell.  Mike Alaalatoa may get his opportunity to make his Crusaders debut off the bench too.

Sam Whitelock will captain the side and partner up with Scott Barrett at lock, while Jimmy Tupou provides cover.

The loose forward trio holds 199 caps between them, although it will be Tim Boys’ first in red and black.  The uncapped Reed Prinsep has been given the nod as loose forward cover. 

Halfback Andy Ellis will provide some vital experience for the back line, and Leon Fukofuka is another player preparing to make his debut off the bench.

BNZ Crusaders debutant Ben Volavola will cover Mo’unga at first five, while Kieron Fonotia takes the second five spot.

David Havili starts at fullback, Fijian flyers Nemani Nadolo and Jone Macilai start on the wings, and Johnny McNicholl will be ready to make an impact off the bench.

Kick off is 7:35pm this Saturday night and tickets are available through www.ticketdirect.co.nz, ph. 0800 224 224 or visit participating branches of The Warehouse.  Ticket purchasers are encouraged to also fill up at Mobil this week so that they can enter the Mobil Golden Boots halftime competition and kick their way to $250k – more information is available at www.goldenboots.co.nz

BNZ Crusaders team to play the Chiefs:

1.              Joe Moody

RESERVES

2.              Codie Taylor

 

3.              Owen Franks  

Ben Funnell

4.              Scott Barrett

Wyatt Crockett

5.              Samuel Whitelock (C)

Mike Alaalatoa

6.              Jordan Taufua

Jimmy Tupou

7.              Tim Boys

Reed Prinsep

8.              Kieran Read

Leon Fukofuka

9.              Andy Ellis

Ben Volavola

10.           Richie Mo’unga

Johnny McNicholl

11.           Nemani Nadolo

 

12.           Kieron Fonotia

 

13.           Sean Wainui

 

14.           Jone Macilai

 

15.           David Havili