VIDEO: 'New-look' Crusaders to face Hurricanes
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders will kick off 2020 with their first pre-season game this Saturday, as they prepare to meet the Hurricanes in Ashburton.
Head Coach Scott Robertson has named Whetukamokamo Douglas and Mitchell Drummond as captains for this game, in a match that is set to provide the pre-season group with an opportunity for valuable game time ahead of the Crusaders first Super Rugby competition game on 1st February.
Two Crusaders sides have been named for this match; one for the first half and one for the second.
Notably, All Blacks outside back Braydon Ennor will line up at centre in the first half alongside Canterbury teammate Dallas McLeod.
Young Waikato and former Under-20 loose forward Samipeni Finau, who has been training with the Crusaders, has been named on the blindside flank. The last Waikato player that the Crusaders picked up during pre-season training, Sevu Reece, became an instant superstar for the Super Rugby champions.
The game will be live-streamed on the Crusaders Facebook page.
Crusaders (first-half): 15 Will Jordan, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Leicester Faingaanuku, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas (captain), 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Cullen Grace, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 Isi Tu’ungafasi.
Crusaders (second-half): 15 Dan Hollinshead, 14 Fasi Fuatai, 13 Inga Finau, 12 Rameka Poihipi, 11 Fetuli Paea, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Mitchell Drummond (captain), 8 Sione Havili, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Alex Ainley, 4 Ethan Roots, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Harry Allan.
Replacements: George Bower, Conan O’Donnell, Luke Romano, Sam Darry, Isaiah Punivai, Chay Fihaki
Date: Saturday, January 18
Venue: Ashburton Showgrounds, New Zealand
Kick-off: 16.00 (03.00 GMT)
Referees: James Doleman