Sunwolves test not serious enough for Crusaders
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has made a number of changes to his team to face the Sunwolves in Brisbane on Saturday.
Robertson confirmed that All Blacks Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Scott Barrett, Richie Mo’unga and Jack Goodhue will all be rested for the Round Seven match, with scrumhalf Bryn Hall to captain the side.
It is an all-new starting front row this week, while Luke Romano (lock) and Sione Havili (blindside) both earn starts, and Cullen Grace makes the switch to No.8 for this game.
A further three changes in the backs sees Hall, Brett Cameron and Braydon Ennor all start this week.
The 20-year-old Fergus Burke will get his first taste of Super Rugby against the Sunwolves, providing cover at flyhalf, while experienced Super Rugby hooker and Tasman representative, Hugh Roach, joins the side as cover for McAlister.
Crusaders: 15 George Bridge, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Leicester Faingaanuku, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Bryn Hall (captain), 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sione Havili, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Ere Enari, 22 Fergus Burke, 23 Manasa Mataele.
Date: Saturday, March 14
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 15.35 (18.35 NZ time; 14.35 Japan time; 05.35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)