Todd leads powerful Crusaders into battle
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson named a powerful team for their opening Super Rugby match against the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.
The Team will be captained by Matt Todd in the absence of regular captain Sam Whitelock. Ryan Crotty has been named vice-captain.
The team features 10 players in the starting line up who were part of the All Blacks environment in 2018, including Test debutants Richie Mo’unga at flyhalf and George Bridge on the left wing.
The 20-year-old Will Jordan has also been named in the matchday side, and could earn his first Super Rugby cap if called on to take the field.
“After a long pre-season, there is a lot of excitement among the group to get our 2019 campaign underway.” Robertson said.
“The team is refreshed and eager to get back into their work following two solid pre-season games. The Blues present a big challenge for us first up on Saturday night, which is a fantastic way to start the season.”
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Will Jordan.
Date: Saturday, February 16
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Dan Waenga (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
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