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Familiar face returns to Crusaders

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Familiar face set to return for Crusaders

2019 will see the return of a familiar face, with loose forward Whetu Douglas set to rejoin the Crusaders and link up with Mitre 10 Cup side Canterbury, committing to both for the next two seasons.

The 27-year-old Douglas was called in to the Crusaders as injury last season and had an immediate impact on the team, coaches, and fans alike. He scored three tries in his six matches with the side.

Douglas left New Zealand with his young family following his stint in Super Rugby, to honour a contract with Italian PRO14 side Benetton Treviso.

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Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson said after his whirlwind introduction to Super Rugby, the club is thrilled to welcome Douglas back in 2019.

“Whetu was a standout player in our 2017 season. He joined the squad as injury cover, slotted in to our team environment effortlessly and became a crowd favourite very early on,” Robertson said.

“He’s the ultimate team man – humble and hardworking – and he holds great Mana among our group. Whetu has a phenomenal attitude and a real willingness to dig deep for his team mates, so we’re excited to have him commit for the next two seasons, and look forward to having him back in a Crusaders jersey in 2019.”

Douglas represented Waikato from 2013 to 2016 and was named in the Maori All Blacks squad for the first time in 2016, for their end of year tour to Chicago, London and Ireland.

Douglas said he was looking forward to continuing his career in Christchurch.

“Not only am I excited to be playing in New Zealand and in the Super Rugby competition, I am excited and honoured to be joining the Crusaders and Canterbury for the next two years. The history of excellence in this region I believe, is the best fit for me to reach my full potential as a professional rugby player,” Douglas said.

“I am grateful for this opportunity, and my family and I look forward to joining the Christchurch community soon.”

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Familiar face set to return for Crusaders