Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson will make two modifications to his XV starter for Saturday’s clash with the Hurricanes in Christchurch on Saturday from 4.05 live on ESPN Play and Sunday, delayed, at 15 on ESPN 3.
Both changes apply due to injuries, regarding the team that beat Blues by the fifth date. Vice Captain David Havili has been ruled out for the season after fracturing the base of his right thumb against the Blues, meaning the competition’s top scorer, Will Jordan, will start in the full-back position.
Jack Goodhue joins Whetu Douglas as vice-captain in Havili’s absence, and is set to partner with Fetuli Paea in the center this week, after Braydon Ennor was ruled out with a toe injury.
Brett Cameron and Leicester Fainga’anuku will join the 23-man squad this week and go to the substitute bench.
Crusaders and Hurricanes march first and third, respectively, in Super Rugby Aotearoa. While the Crusaders have won the last six Super Rugby games against this rival, it was the Hurricanes who delivered the Crusaders their last loss at home in 2016.
Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock , 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (c), 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga ‘anuku
Place: Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Mike Fraser
TMO: Ben O’Keeffe