Crusaders reveal team to add to Gatland's misery
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders return to their home ground this weekend for the first time since March, and head coach Scott Robertson has named an unchanged line up to take on the Chiefs on Sunday.
Codie Taylor will once again captain the side, following news earlier this week that Scott Barrett has been ruled out of Super Rugby Aotearoa to have surgery for a toe injury.
Taylor will be supported by vice-captains Whetukamokamo Douglas and David Havili.
Robertson told NZ media that giving the same 23 an opportunity to play together again this week is a chance to build combinations quickly given the short 10-week competition.
“We know the nature of the competition, it is a sprint, it’s short, sharp,” Robertson said.
“It’s really important to get off to a good start and that’s what we’ve done with the team that played well last week and [we’ve] rewarded them.”
Several Crusaders players are also set to turn out for their clubs this week, including Quinten Strange and Andrew Makalio, who are both returning from injury.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Sam 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 28
Venue: Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch
Kick-off: 15.35 (03.35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: James Doleman, Ben O’Keeffe
TMO: Mike Fraser