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Will Jordan named to return for Crusaders clash with Force

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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The Crusaders have named their team to face the Western Force in Round 11 of Super Rugby Pacific in the first of back-to-back home games. 

The home crowd will welcome back 45-cap Crusader and 21-Test All Black Will Jordan as he takes his spot at fullback in his hotly anticipated first start for the franchise this season.  

Scott Robertson, Crusaders head coach, said it’s been “a big six months for Will” and everyone was “just really pleased for him”. 

“He’s got better and better and chose this game after having a couple of good training weeks,” Robertson said. 

“He’s ready to play the full 80 if needed.” 

Jordan will be joined in the back three by All Black Leicester Fainga’anuku on the left wing and Macca Springer on the right.

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In the midfield David Havili partners Braydon Ennor, who will play outside No 10 Richie Mo’unga.

A rare start has been handed to rookie halfback Noah Hotham with Willi Heinz sidelined with a calf strain.

Robertson said “halfbacks, like front rowers, are hard to come by – it’s a specialist position”, and coaches have been impressed with the 19-year-old’s performance so far this season. 

Up front hooker Brodie McAlister will pack down for his first start this year alongside All Black veteran Joe Moody and impressive tighthead Tamaiti Williams.

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After notching 50 games last week, Quinten Strange starts in the second row alongside captain Scott Barrett.

Dom Gardiner has been named at No 6 with Cullen Grace returning to the starting XV at Number 8. Tom Christie completes the starting loose forward trio at openside flanker.  

Oli Jager is back on the bench for his second game of the ’23 season after coming off the bench against the Chiefs last week. 

Crusaders team to face the Force:

1. Joe Moody
2. Brodie McAlister
3. Tamaiti Williams
4. Scott Barrett (c)
5. Quinten Strange
6. Dominic Gardiner
7. Tom Christie
8. Cullen Grace
9. Noah Hotham
10. Richie Mo’unga
11. Leicester Fainga’anuku
12. David Havili
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Macca Springer
15. Will Jordan

Reserves

16. Codie Taylor (vc)
17. Finlay Brewis
18. Oli Jager
19. Zach Gallagher
20. Christian Lio-Willie
21. Mitchell Drummond
22. Fergus Burke
23. Jack Goodhue

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