One last dance at home for Crusaders Legends

One last dance at home for Crusaders Legends

The Crusaders have named their team for their last home game of the year. We play Moana Pasifika at Apollo Projects Stadium on Friday 31 May – kick off 7.05pm.

Rob Penney confirmed to media on Wednesday morning that Joe Moody, Willi Heinz, Ryan Crotty, and Owen Franks will call time on their Crusaders career at the end of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

Both Moody and Crotty appear in the starting XV, while Franks will come in hot off the bench. What better way to close out the home season than fronting at Apollo to see three Crusaders centurions in their last dance in Christchurch.

“We’ve got an opportunity as Crusader fans to stand up in a united embrace of those four men in particular heading into this weekend, and celebrate what they’ve given to Crusader rugby,” said Rob Penney.

Penney said his team turned up last week against an “in form” Blues, and he’s confident they can do it again.

“We’re focused on Moana Pasifika now as that’s all we can control. We’ll sit back and see what unfolds over the weekend,” Penney said, referring to other results that must go our way to make it through to the top eight and playoffs.

Tamaiti Williams returns to the front row alongside captain Codie Taylor. Replacement front row of George Bell, George Bower and Owen Franks – not bad.

Antonio Shalfoon has become a regular starter in the red and black and will do so again alongisde locking partner Quinten Strange. Jamie Hannah has had a standout debut season and will pull the 19 jersey on when required.

Cullen Grace, Ethan Blackadder and Christian Lio-Willie round out the forwards. All have scored tries in recent weeks, so watch out for strength and drive from these three. Tom Christie sits on the pine ready and waiting for his moment.

Noah Hotham at halfback, Fergus Burke at first five, how good.

Macca Springer returns to the left wing this week, Chay Fihaki on the right. Huge speed and energy from these two. We’re looking at a dangerous centre combo of Dallas McLeod and Ryan Crotty, and Johnny McNicholl as our now well-established fullback.

Taine Robinson and Heremaia Murray have the 22 and 23 jerseys hanging in their lockers this week, looking to add another chapter to the start of their Crusaders story.

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