• Crusaders call in All Blacks wings

    All Blacks wing duo Sevu Reece and George Bridge will start for the Crusaders in their clash with the Blues in Christchurch on Saturday.

    Reece and Bridge replace the in-form Will Jordan and Leicester Faingaanuku, respectively, with Jordan dropping to the bench while Faingaanuku is left out of the match-day 23 entirely.

    There is also rotation among the Crusaders’ scrumhalves as Bryn Hall starts with Mitchell Drummond reverting to the reserves.

    The only other changes to the starting lineup come in the back row. Ethan Blackadder sustained a knee injury at training last week and was ruled out of the win over the Highlanders. 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.

    The Crusaders have an opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the standings in Super Rugby Aotearoa, while a Blues win on Saturday night would have them overtake the home side at the halfway point of the competition.

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

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    Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix