Super Rugby

Crusaders make three changes for Highlanders

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Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has named a Super Rugby team with three changes for this weekend’s Southern Derby clash against the Highlanders.

In their last outing the Crusaders beat the Reds and Blackadder has made retained 12 of the starting fifteen that featured last week.

Owen Franks starts at tight head prop while Luke Romano will partner Sam Whitelock in the second row.

At halfback Andy Ellis returns to the starting line up in place of Mitchell Drummond who along with Mike Alaalatoa, Scott Barrett join a sub’s bench that will offer plenty of impact when the chance arises for them.

‘There is nothing like a classic Southern Derby to bring out the best in both the Crusaders and the Highlanders. It is always a great game with an amazing atmosphere and with both teams playing well and hungry for the win there is sure to be plenty of passion on the field this Friday’ says Blackadder.

Meanwhile the Crusaders have confirmed that halfback Leon Fukofuka, has re-signed with the team for another two years. Fukofuka who joined the squad this season said: “I’m just loving being part of this Crusaders environment. It is a great group of players and coaches whom I am learning a lot from, so re-signing was really an easy decision to make.’

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Jordan Taufua, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Andy Ellis, 23. Marty Mckenzie, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Jone Macilai, 12. David Havili, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson , 17. Joe Moody ,18. Mike Alaalatoa ,19. Scott Barrett ,20. Tim Boys , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Ryan Crotty

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