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Scott Barrett set to reach Crusaders milestone against Fijian Drua

By Finn Morton
Scott Barrett. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Photosport)

Captain Scott Barrett is set to make his 100th appearance for the Crusaders on Saturday when the defending Super Rugby champions face the Fijian Drua in Fiji.

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Barrett made his Crusaders debut in an exhibition match against England nine years ago, and has gone on to enjoy a decorated career in the famous red and black jersey.

The All Blacks lock has played a pivotal role in the Crusaders’ unprecedented Super Rugby dynasty under Scott Robertson, including a true captains knock in last year’s final at Eden Park.

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Barrett will lead a new-look Crusaders side out onto Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji, on Saturday at 5:35pm NZT.

The Crusaders have made eight changes to their starting XV ahead of the historic blockbuster in round three, including a new halves pairing.

Prop Tamaiti Williams is the only front-rower to have retained his spot in the starting side following last weekend’s big win over the Highlanders.

George Bower and Quentin MacDonald have both come into the starting side to face the Drua. In the second-row, Barrett will pack down alongside All Blacks teammate Sam Whitelock.

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Tom Christie and Christian Lio-Willie have also held their places in the starting XV, while Sione Havili Talitui has been named in the No. 6 after coming off the bench in Super Round.

The Crusaders have not included All Blacks Mitchell Drummond and Richie Mo’unga in their matchday 23, and have instead turned to an interesting halves combination.

England international Willi Heinz will start at halfback for the champion Crusaders, will Fergus Burke will start at first five after donning the No. 15 jersey in Melbourne on Saturday.

There are only two other changes to the starting side, with Macca Springer set to start on the left wing and Chay Fihaki getting an opportunity to impress out the back.

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Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has also named three potential debutants on the bench.

The match at Churchill Park will mark the beginning on a momentous season for Fijian rugby, as the Drua are set to play a full season of home matches in Super Rugby Pacific this year.

 

Crusaders team to take on Fijian Drua

  1. George Bower
  2. Quentin MacDonald
  3. Tamati Williams
  4. Scott Barrett
  5. Sam Whitelock
  6. Sione Havili Talitui
  7. Tom Christie
  8. Christian Lio-Willie
  9. Willi Heinz
  10. Fergus Burke
  11. Macca Springer
  12. David Havili
  13. Braydon Ennor
  14. Sevu Reece
  15. Chay Fihaki

 

Replacements:

  1. Ioane Moananu
  2. Kershawl Sykes-Martin
  3. Seb Calder
  4. Zach Gallagher
  5. Corey Kellow
  6. Noah Hotham
  7. Taha Kemara
  8. Dallas McLeod
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