Crusaders Team Named For Final Home Game of 2020


In the penultimate weekend of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa log leaders, the Crusaders will be facing the Highlanders on Sunday in Christchurch at the Orangetheory Stadium 05:35 SA time. The Crusader has welcomed back several players for their last home game of 2020. The Crusaders are number one on the log after five wins from six games and a win on sunday will see them crowned as the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa champions. The Crusaders won their match against the Highlanders in Round 4 of the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition with 20-40 and have beaten the Chiefs 32-19 last weekend.

Joe Moody returns to the starting side this week, having missed the match in Hamilton due to a family bereavement, while Vice-Captain Whetukamokamo Douglas and Centre Braydon Ennor have come through training this week to make their respective returns from injury. 

Douglas' return at 8 sees Tom Sanders move back to the blindside, and Sione Havili takes a spot in the reserves. The promotion of Quinten Strange to the starting side is the only other change in the forward pack, with Luke Romano providing cover on the bench and Mitch Dunshea rested for this game. 

Ennor's inclusion in the midfield is one of only two changes in the backline, with Bryn Hall and Mitch Drummond rotating so that Hall starts at halfback and Drummond will provide important impact off the bench.

A win against the Highlanders on Sunday means the Crusaders can't be overtaken at the top of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa standings table, but Robertson said the team's approach to their final two games will be the same as it has been for every game so far this season.

"We know what a win on Sunday means for us, but we still have two games to prepare for, and they’re going to be incredibly tough," Robertson said. "Our focus over these next two games will be the same as it has been for the last six – all about consistency and putting together performances we can be proud of against the Highlanders and the Blues. 

"We must acknowledge our home fans, so we’ll take some time to connect with them after the game on Sunday and thank them for their immense support this season. It's awesome to have another full house for this game against the Highlanders, and we're determined to make them proud," Robertson said. 

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