Crusaders name team to face Reds

Crusaders name team to face Reds

In huge Crusaders news, Leigh Halfpenny will finally take the field this weekend. The Welshman, who has more than 100 caps for his country and sits third in their all-time points scorer list (801), will start at fullback on debut on Saturday. To say excitement levels for this debut are high would be the understatement of the season. Chay Fihaki takes a spot on the bench for this one.

In other big news, David Havili will start at 10 versus the Reds with Rivez Reihana shifting to the bench. Expect maturity and rugby wisdom from Davey out on the paddock – he’s a consistent All Black and Crusader starter for good reason.  

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Our front row put in a match-winning performance versus the Rebels last week – so much so they swapped out their boys after just 30 minutes – so it’s great to see George Bower, Brodie McAlister and Fletcher Newell named once again. The front row bench once again looks solid in Joe Moody, George Bell and Owen Franks.

Scott Barrett captains from lock alongside Quin Strange, and your loose forwards are Cullen Grace, Ethan Blackadder and Christian Lio-Willie. Both Grace and Lio-Willie dotted down against the Rebels last week, the former in his 50th appearance in the colours. We’re looking at Jamie Hannah and Corey Kellow on the bench ready to get some minutes in the pack.

Mitch Drummond starts at halfback adding to his substantial cap count of 140+, Noah Hotham ready to swing into action in his place when required.

Watch out for the winger combo of Sevu Reece and Johnny McNicholl, ready to break defensive lines left and right. Dallas McLeod and Levi Aumua once again occupy centre. Those guys have been huge recently, Levi in particular impressing when he does get ball in hand.

And so we go again. Energy is high following the 39-0 win over the Rebels last week as we build our season late with five weeks to go. The Reds are next, after that the Highlanders. One week at a time. Minute by minute. Point by point. We go again.

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