This weekend see’s the classic Southern Derby of the Investec Super Rugby tournament Pulse Energy Highlander’s vs BNZ Crusaders. The game takes place on Friday 13th May at Forsyth Bar Stadium, Dunedin. Kick off is at 7.35pm.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Highlanders making three changes to the starting fifteen that played the Reds last weekend.

Owen Franks starts at tight head prop while Luke Romano will partner Sam Whitelock in the second row. At halfback Andy Ellis returns to the starting line up in place of Mitchell Drummond who along with Mike Alaalatoa, Scott Barrett join a sub's bench that will offer plenty of impact when the chance arises for them.

‘There is nothing like a classic Southern Derby to bring out the best in both the Crusaders and the Highlanders. It is always a great game with an amazing atmosphere and with both teams playing well and hungry for the win there is sure to be plenty of passion on the field this Friday’ says Blackadder. 

BNZ Crusaders are delighted to confirm that halfback Leon Fukofuka, has re-signed with the team for another two years. Fukofuka who joined the squad this season said: “I’m just loving being part of this Crusaders environment. It is a great group of players and coaches who I am learning a lot from so re-signing was really an easy decision to make.’

Crusaders team to play the Highlanders:

1.     Wyatt Crockett

2.     Codie Taylor

3.     Owen Franks

4.     Luke Romano

5.     Sam Whitelock

6.     Jordan Taufua

7.     Matt Todd

8.     Kieran Read (c)

9.     Andy Ellis

10.  Richie Mo’unga

11.  Jone Macilai

12.  David Havili

13.  Kieron Fonotia

14.  Johnny McNicholl

15.  Israel Dagg

Reserves

16. Ged Robinson 

17.  Joe Moody

18.   Mike Alaalatoa

19.   Scott Barrett

20.   Tim Boys

21.  Mitchell Drummond

22.  Ryan Crotty

23. Marty Mckenzie