Strong Crusaders to face Lions

Seven All Blacks have been named in the Crusaders' 23-man squad for Saturday's match against the British & Irish Lions in Christchurch.

The only changes to the team that beat the Highlanders last weekend are a rotation at scrumhalf, with Bryn Hall starting and Mitchell Drummond on the bench, while David Havili will switch to inside centre with Israel Dagg coming in at fullback and Tim Bateman coming in from the bench.

'This is a huge and exciting challenge for us. We are facing some of the best rugby players in the world, but we have some of the world's best in this team too, so it will be a fantastic clash,' said Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.

'No matter how it unfolds, this will be a game that the players involved will remember as one of the special moments in their careers.'

Crusaders – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Tim Bateman.

Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt