Crusaders lose another key player
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has named his team to play the Hurricanes in Christchurch on Saturday.
There are just two injury-enforced changes from the starting side that defeated the Blues in Round Five.
Vice-captain David Havili has been ruled out for the season after fracturing the base of his right thumb against the Blues, meaning the competition’s leading try scorer, Will Jordan, will start at fullback.
Jack Goodhue joins Whetukamokamo Douglas as vice-captain in Havili’s absence, and is set to partner with Fetuli Paea in the midfield this week, after centre Braydon Ennor was ruled out with a toe injury.
Ennor is the second injury blow for the Crusaders this week after the news on Havili.
Brett Cameron and Leicester Fainga’anuku have both joined the playing 23 this week, and will provide cover on the bench.
The Crusaders and Hurricanes are currently sitting first and third on the Super Rugby Aotearoa standings table.
While the Crusaders have won the last six Super Rugby matches between the sides, it was the Hurricanes who handed the Crusaders their last loss at home in 2016.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga’anuku.
Date: Saturday, July 25
Venue: Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.05 (07.05 GMT)
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Mike Fraser
TMO: Ben O’Keeffe