TEAM NAMING: The Crusaders, fresh from the bye, will host the Lions this week in Christchurch, and Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his side to take the field on Friday night.
In the forwards, Codie Taylor returns to start at hooker and, with both Scott Barrett and Matt Todd on All Blacks rest, Quinten Strange and Billy Harmon have been given an opportunity to start against the Lions. Mitch Dunshea has also been named in the match day team, providing cover in the number 19 jersey.
Mitch Drummond will start at halfback for this game and Ereatara Enari takes a spot in the reserves. There is a reshuffle in the backline with George Bridge returning to the left wing, Braydon Ennor moving in from the wing to the midfield and Sevu Reece lining up on the right wing.
Finally, 20 year-old Ngane Punivai is set to make his debut for the Crusaders on Friday night, having been named on the bench for this clash with the Lions.
Crusaders: David Havili, Sevu Reece, Braydon Ennor, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond, Kieran Read, Billy Harmon, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Sam Whitelock (c), Quinten Strange, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Harry Allan, Oliver Jager, Mitchell Dunshea, Jordan Taufua, Ereatara Enari, Mitchell Hunt, Ngane Punivai.
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