Follow all the action on the RugbyPass live blog from the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Highlanders at Orangetheory Stadium.


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Injury has prevented Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson from retaining the same starting XV that soared to a 25-8 victory over the Blues at Eden Park last week.

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Subsequently, two changes have been made to the run-on side, with captain Scott Barrett among the casualties alongside Irish tighthead prop Oli Jager.

A knee issue means Barrett has been replaced by former All Blacks veteran Luke Romano in the second row, while the concussion that forced Jager from the field inside the first 10 minutes in Auckland has led to Samoan international Michael Alaalatoa earning selection at No. 3 this week.


The remainder of the Crusaders’ starting team unchanged, although there have been some alterations on the bench.

Alaalatoa’s promotion from the reserves presents an opening for Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s younger brother, Isi, who North Harbour starlet Ethan Roots as the two new forwards on the pine.

The only other change to the match day side comes at No. 23, as a groin injury to electric outside back Will Jordan has allowed fellow youngster Leicester Fainga’anuku to return after missing the Blues fixture to play for the Crusaders Development XV.


The Highlanders, meanwhile, have reshuffled their backline in the wake of their last-gasp 23-22 win over the Brumbies in Canberra six days ago.

Head coach Aaron Mauger has shifted Otago skipper Michael Collins to his regular position of fullback after he ran out at centre last week.

In doing so, young Canterbury speedster Josh McKay has been demoted to the bench, while star midfielder Rob Thompson returns to the No. 13 jersey after being a late injury withdrawal for the Brumbies clash.

Sio Tomkinson’s three-week suspension for a shoulder charge means former Reds flyer Chris Kuridrani will make his Highlanders debut on the right wing.

One-cap All Blacks flanker Dillon Hunt has dropped out of the Highlanders’ bench to captain the franchise’s development team, the Bravehearts, this weekend to accomodate for McKay’s culling in what is the only change in the reserves list.

In other news:

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