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Crusaders to unleash massive teenage star in first...

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Crusaders to unleash massive teenage star in first match of the year

The Crusaders will take the field for the first time in 2019, when they play the Hurricanes this weekend in the first of two pre-season fixtures ahead of this year’s Super Rugby campaign.

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has named a squad of 30 players to travel north for the match which will be played at Levin Domain.

Loose forwards Whetukamokamo Douglas and Jordan Taufua have been named Captains for the first and second halves respectively. The travelling squad also features a number of new players who are set to wear the Crusaders jersey for the first time – including barnstorming 19-year-old winger Leicester Faingaanuku, who earns a start on the left wing.

The former New Zealand Schools and U20 representative is listed at 1.88m tall and 109kg, making him the heaviest back in the side by a wide margin.

Robertson said after a long pre-season, the squad is excited to finally be taking the field on Saturday afternoon: “The group has prepared really well over a long period of time leading up to this game, and suddenly a fixture that seemed so far away pre-Christmas, is upon is.

“We’ve done a lot of work getting our contact right so the boys are fully prepared to climb into their work on Saturday. The Hurricanes are always really physical but this group is ready for the challenge and Levin is a great place to play,” Robertson said.

The Crusaders pre-season match versus the Hurricanes is due to kick off at 3pm, Saturday 2nd February, at Levin Domain.

Crusaders team to play the Hurricanes:
1. Tim Perry
2. Andrew Makalio
3. Michael Alaalatoa
4. Mitchell Dunshea
5. Quinten Strange
6. Tom Sanders
7. Billy Harmon
8. Whetu Douglas (C)
9. Bryn Hall (VC)
10. Mitchell Hunt
11. Leicester Faingaanuku
12. Dallas McLeod
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Manasa Mataele
15. David Havili
Reserves:
Isi Tu’ungafasi, Ben Funnell, George Bower, Luke Romano, John Akau’ola-Laula, Jordan Taufua (C), Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Mitchell Drummond (VC), Brett Cameron, Ngane Punivai, Sevu Reece, Will Jordan, Ere Enari, Fergus Burke.

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Crusaders to unleash massive teenage star in first match of the year | RugbyPass