Crusaders Name Largely Unchanged Side For The Blues


Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson has named a largely unchanged side to face the Blues in a blockbuster clash in Christchurch at the Orangetheory Stadium, 09;05 (SA time) on Saturday. The winner of this match is most likely to be crowned as the 2020 Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa champions. Both teams are still undefeated, the Crusaders have an opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the standings table in Super Rugby Aotearoa, while a Blues win on Saturday night would see them overtake the home side at the halfway point in the competition. 

Ethan Blackadder sustained a knee injury at training last week and was ruled out of the match in Dunedin. His replacements, Sione Havili and Tom Sanders will rotate this week, with Sanders to start and Havili named on the bench. The rest of the forward pack is unchanged. 

In the backs, Bryn Hall and Mitch Drummond provide a dynamic 1-2 combination at halfback, with Hall to start and Drummond named in the reserves. There is also a reshuffle in the outside backs, with Leicester Faingaanuku replaced by George Bridge on the left-wing, and Sevu Reece earning a start on the right-wing. The in-form Will Jordan is set to provide impact off the bench.

Crusaders: 1. Joe Moody 2. Codie Taylor (C) 3. Michael Alaalatoa 4. Samuel Whitelock 5. Mitchell Dunshea 6. Tom Sanders 7. Tom Christie 8. Whetukamokamo Douglas (VC) 9. Bryn Hall 10. Richie Mo'unga 11. George Bridge 12. Jack Goodhue 13. Braydon Ennor 14. Sevu Reece 15. David Havili (VC) Replacements: 16. Andrew Makalio 17. George Bower 18. Oliver Jager 19. Quinten Strange 20. Sione Havili 21. Mitchell Drummond 22. Fetuli Paea 23. Will Jordan.