Codie Taylor brings up special milestone as captain for the Crusaders as changes made for Brumbies
Codie Taylor will become the Crusaders’ 21st centurion against the Brumbies on Saturday night, and he’s also been named to Captain the side, in what will be their opening match of the 2021 Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition.
Head Coach Scott Robertson has made a number of changes from the side that lifted the Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy last weekend in Christchurch, with Mitch Drummond and Will Jordan both being rested, and regular Captain Scott Barrett and wing Sevu Reece named on the bench.
In the forwards, Mitch Dunshea will partner Sam Whitelock as the starting locks and Brendon O’Connor joins the match day team in place of Sione Havili Talitui, who has been ruled out with concussion symptoms.
In the absence of Drummond, Bryn Hall has been named to start this match and Ereatara Enari will have an opportunity from the bench. There is a reshuffle in the backline with George Bridge dropping to fullback and Leicester Fainga’anuku moving to the left wing, which sees Braydon Ennor and Manasa Mataele both earn their first starts of the 2021 season.
Codie Taylor’s milestone match will be celebrated with a pre-match guard of honour from Sydenham Rugby Club as he leads the team out on to Orangetheory Stadium.
Robertson said Taylor is a player who epitomises what the Crusaders team is all about:
“Codie is not only a world-class player, he’s an empathetic leader who knows how to get the best out of those around him and sets high standards in our environment.
“We’re really excited for Codie and his family, it’s a special milestone for a special player.”
Ahead of the Crusaders versus Brumbies game, St Thomas of Canterbury College and Shirley Boys’ High School will play a match as part of the schools’ First XV rugby competition, before Belgian drum and bass producer and musician, Netsky, plays a pre-match show from 6pm.
Crusaders team to play the Brumbies:
1. George Bower
2. Codie Taylor (C)*
3. Michael Alaalatoa
4. Mitchell Dunshea
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Ethan Blackadder
7. Tom Sanders
8. Cullen Grace
9. Bryn Hall
10. Richie Mo’unga
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku
12. David Havili (VC)
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Manasa Mataele
15. George Bridge
16. Brodie McAlister
17. Tamaiti Williams
18. Oliver Jager
19. Scott Barrett
20. Brendon O’Connor
21. Ereatara Enari
22. Fergus Burke
23. Sevu Reece
Join RugbyPass+ now and be apart of the conversation with all-new commenting!Join Now