Super Rugby

Whitelock returns for Crusaders to face Highlanders

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Crusaders Super rugby head coach Scott Robertson has named his team to play the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin.

Robertson’s team includes the return of four All Blacks with Sam Whitelock captaining the side.

Owen Franks, Matt Todd and George Bridge all return from rest weeks for this game, while Whitelock returns to partner Scott Barrett at lock.

It’s a new starting front row for the Crusaders this week, with George Bower, fresh from his debut against the Chiefs, set to earn his first Super Rugby start.

The hookers will swap for this game with Codie Taylor to wear the No. 2 jersey and Andrew Makalio moving to the bench, while Franks’ return sees Michael Alaalatoa shift to the reserves.

This will be Owen Franks’ 150th game for the Crusaders (149th Investec Super Rugby game) and he will lead the side out on to Forsyth Barr Stadium to mark the occasion.

The return of Todd is the only change to the loose forward trio this week.

In the back line, the halfbacks swap for this game, so that Bryn Hall wears the No. 9 jersey and Ereatara Enari provides cover on the bench. George Bridge’s return sees Braydon Ennor shift to the right wing, and David Havili will start at fullback, in place of Will Jordan.

Crusaders

David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, George Bower.

Replacements: Andrew Makalio, Harry Allan, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Tom Sanders, Ere Enari, Brett Cameron, Will Jordan.

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