Crusaders Super rugby Aotearoa head coach Scott Robertson has named his team to play the Hurricanes after sitting out round one with a bye.
Robertson has named a team with eight All Blacks in the starting side that will not include regular Captain Scott Barrett.
26-year-old Barrett has been ruled out of this game with a foot injury, meaning hooker Codie Taylor has an opportunity to Captain the side for the first time. Returning lock Sam Whitelock joins the starting line up alongside Mitch Dunshea.
It is also a welcome return to play for Vice-Captain David Havili (abdominal surgery) and loose forward Ethan Blackadder (shoulder), who have both been named on the bench.
Robertson spoke to local media in Christchurch today and said the team is excited to prepare for a game this week after watching on last weekend: “It’s a great feeling to get into a game week and there’s a lot of excitement in the group…” he said.
“Your home games are really, really important and to win away is a big task so they’ll [Hurricanes] be protecting their patch and we’re excited to get up there.”
15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Brodie McAlister, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 David Havili, 23 Leicester Faingaanuku