Crusaders loaded with All Blacks for 'Canes clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders are set to play their first match of the competition after sitting out Round One with a bye.
Head coach Scott Robertson has named his team to travel to Wellington ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Hurricanes and, while it includes eight All Blacks in the starting side, the Crusaders will be without regular captain Scott Barrett.
The 26-year-old Barrett has been ruled out of this game with a foot injury, meaning hooker Codie Taylor has an opportunity to captain the side for the first time. Returning lock Sam Whitelock joins the starting line up alongside Mitch Dunshea.
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) June 18, 2020
It is also a welcome return to play for vice-Captain David Havili (abdominal surgery) and loose forward Ethan Blackadder (shoulder), who have both been named on the bench.
Robertson spoke to local media in Christchurch on Friday and said the team is excited to prepare for a game this week after watching on last weekend:
“It’s a great feeling to get into a game week and there’s a lot of excitement in the group.” he said.
“Your home games are really, really important and to win away is a big task so they’ll [Hurricanes] be protecting their patch and we’re excited to get up there.”
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 David Havili, 23 Leicester Faingaanuku.
Date: Sunday, June 21
Venue: Sky Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 15.35 (03.35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: James Doleman, Ben O’Keeffe
TMO: Mike Fraser