The Crusaders are on the road again this week and will travel to Auckland for their Friday night match against the Blues at Eden Park.


Head coach Scott Robertson has named his side for week three of Super Rugby, which includes a smattering of young, former secondary school stars.

In the loose forwards, an injury to Whetukamokamo Douglas means Tom Sanders will shift to No. 8, and Cullen Grace earns his first Crusaders start on the blindside.

Grace’s promotion to the starting side means Sione Havili comes into the matchday team for the first time in 2020, and will make his debut appearance for the Crusaders if called on in the reserves.

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The 22-year-old already has one Super Rugby cap to his name and, ironically, it was for the Blues when they played the Rebels back in 2018.


Both Grace and Havili have previously represented the New Zealand secondary schools side – as did Tom Christie, who debuted for the Crusaders in round one.

The starting tight five remains unchanged from the Chiefs match, which saw Oli Jager promoted to the team at the last minute for Michael Alaalatoa. Alaalatoa will make a return this week from the bench.

In the backs, both Bryn Hall and Richie Mo’unga join the starting fifteen for this game and David Havili returns to his preferred spot at fullback. Mitch Drummond and Will Jordan move to the bench.


The Crusaders have one victory and one defeat to their name this year, crushing the Waratahs in round one before surrendering a halftime lead to the Chiefs in Hamilton last Saturday.

Robertson’s side have lost just six matches since the coach took over in 2017 and haven’t lost two out of their three opening matches since 2015.

Crusaders: David Havili, Sevu Reece, Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Tom Sanders, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Mitchell Dunshea, Scott Barrett (c), Oli Jager, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, George Bower, Michael Alaalatoa, Luke Romano, Sione Havili, Mitchell Drummond, Brett Cameron, Will Jordan.

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