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Crusaders name team to play Reds as they prepare for the 'battle of the champions' against Super Rugby AU winners

By AAP

Trending on RugbyPass

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The Crusaders are preparing for their first trip across the Tasman since March last year, and will travel to Brisbane today ahead of their match against the Reds on Saturday night.

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As well as making a few changes to the side this week, Head Coach Scott Robertson has named three additional players for the Crusaders two-match tour to Australia, with Fletcher Newell, Nathan Vella and Fergus Burke all set to make the trip.

In the team to play the Reds, prop Oliver Jager will start and Michael Alaalatoa has been named on the bench. Codie Taylor will once again lead the side, while regular Captain Scott Barrett is recovering after being medically ruled out of last week’s game against the Brumbies. The Crusaders have opted to give Barrett this week off as well, but he is expected to join the team in Australia next week.

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Tom Sanders also won’t make the trip to Brisbane later today due to a nasal fracture, and has been replaced by Ethan Blackadder as the starting number seven against the Reds. Whetukamokamo Douglas will wear the number six jersey.

In the backs, Mitchell Drummond and Will Jordan both return from a rest to start at halfback and fullback respectively, while Sevu Reece takes the right wing spot in place of Manasa Mataele. It’s a timely return for Jordan, with George Bridge also ruled out of the Crusaders touring squad after having his appendix removed this week.

Finally, Sione Havili Talitui makes a welcome return from concussion to provide loose forward cover in the reserves.

Kick off in the Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman match between the Crusaders and Reds is 9:45pm (NZT) and you can watch this live on Sky Sport in New Zealand or on RugbyPass in selected markets.

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Crusaders team to play the Reds:

1. George Bower

2. Codie Taylor (C)

3. Oliver Jager

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4. Mitchell Dunshea

5. Samuel Whitelock

6. Whetukamokamo Douglas

7. Ethan Blackadder

8. Cullen Grace

9. Mitchell Drummond

10. Richie Mo’unga

11. Leicester Fainga’anuku

12. David Havili (VC)

13. Braydon Ennor

14. Sevu Reece

15. Will Jordan

RESERVES:

16. Brodie McAlister

17. Tamaiti Williams

18. Michael Alaalatoa

19. Quinten Strange

20. Sione Havili Talitui

21. Bryn Hall

22. Dallas McLeod

23. Manasa Mataele

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Crusaders name team to play Reds as they prepare for the 'battle of the champions' against Super Rugby AU winners

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