Super Rugby champions the Crusaders have named a team with two changes for this weekend’s match against the Stormers at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
The match will be celebrate Luke Romano’s 100th Super Rugby game. He played his 100th match against the British and Irish Lions (not a super rugby match).
Head coach Scott Robertson has retained the backline that played against the Chiefs last weekend but made two changes to the starting forward pack, with the Crusaders’ latest centurion,
Romano, taking a spot on the bench and All Blacks team mate Scott Barrett to partner Sam Whitelock. The only other change in the forward pack sees loose forward Billy Harmon earn his first start in the No. 7 jersey.
Hooker Andrew Makalio and loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis have both been named in the match day 23, after turning out for the Crusaders Knights team last weekend. They provide cover for Codie Taylor and Billy Harmon respectively.
Romano, who made his debut for the Crusaders back in 2011, is now the team’s 18th Super Rugby centurion. Robertson said his Crusaders team mates were determined to celebrate the milestone with a good performance on Saturday.
“Luke is a valued member of our team, and has given his all every time he’s taken the field for the Crusaders over the past seven seasons. He had an immense 2017 campaign and was an important part of our success, so I know the boys will want to put a performance befitting this milestone on the field come Saturday night.
“100 Super Rugby games is a real testament to Luke’s character; he’s not only an uncompromising competitor, but is also a loyal Crusaders man and a great leader. It’s a special milestone and one we look forward to celebrating with Luke and his family,” Robertson said.
15.David Havili, 14. Seta Tamanivalu, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Ryan Crotty, 11. George Bridge, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Jordan Taufua, 7. Billy Harmon, 6. Peter Samu, 5. Sam Whitelock(c), 4. Scott Barrett, 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Makalio, 17. Chris King, 18. Oliver Jager, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Manasa Mataele.