It is all change for Crusaders
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has named a side that features seven changes, for their Super Rugby Round Nine encounter with the Highlanders in Christchurch on Friday.
Andrew Makalio will start this game at hooker and Ben Funnell has been named on the bench.
Codie Taylor, who was withdrawn from last week’s encounter with the Brumbies with a calf strain, will be rested this week – ahead of the bye.
Owen Franks, who suffered a shoulder sprain in the Brumbies match, will also sit out the southern derby, and is replaced by Michael Alaalatoa in the No.3 jersey. Oliver Jager will provide cover on the bench.
The final changes to the forward pack will see Sam Whitelock and Whetukamokamo Douglas return to the starting side, and Whitelock resume the captaincy.
At scrumhalf Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond swap this week. Hall starts and Drummond moves to the bench.
Jack Goodhue and Braydon Ennor both return to the starting side at outside centre and on the right wing respectively.
The only other change to the matchday 23 sees Mitch Hunt replace Brett Cameron on the bench.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Braydon Ennor, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Will Jordan.
Date: Friday, April 12
Venue: Christchurch Stadium, Addington
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Angus Gardner (Australia)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)