Crusaders get a key player back for Highlanders clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders are refreshed from the bye and preparing to host the Highlanders Christchurch this Easter weekend.
Head coach Scott Robertson has confirmed the highly-anticipated return of George Bridge to the starting side for Friday’s southern derby, following the injury he sustained during All Blacks training in October last year.
Bridge will start on the right wing, with Sevu Reece moving to the reserves and the in-form Leicester Fainga’anuku retaining his spot on the left wing.
The only other change to the team, from the 23 that took the field at Eden Park two weeks ago, sees Mitchell Drummond start in his 98th appearance for the franchise, with Bryn Hall to come off the bench.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 George Bridge, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 Sevu Reece.
Date: Friday, April 2
Venue: Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.05 (06.05 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, James Doleman
TMO: Ben O’Keeffe