Mo'unga boost for Crusaders
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders are on the road again this week and will travel to Auckland head of their Friday match against the Blues at Eden Park.
Head coach Scott Robertson has named his side for week three of Super Rugby, and it includes an unchanged line up in the tight five.
In the loose forwards, an injury to Whetukamokamo Douglas means Tom Sanders will shift to No.8, and Cullen Grace earns his first Crusaders start on the blindside.
Grace’s promotion to the starting side means Sione Havili comes into the matchday team for the first time in 2020, and will make his debut appearance for the Crusaders if called on in the reserves.
The 22-year-old already has one Super Rugby cap to his name and, ironically, it was for the Blues against the Rebels back in 2018.
In the backs, both Bryn Hall and Richie Mo’unga join the starting team for this game, and David Havili returns to fullback. Mitch Drummond and Will Jordan move to the bench.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Will Jordan.
Date: Friday, February 14
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
kick-off: 19.05 (06.05 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)