New faces aplenty for Crusaders to face Moana Pasifika
The Crusaders have named their team to take on Moana Pasifika at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart on Saturday, in Round 13 of DHL Super Rugby Pacific.
Head coach Scott Robertson is resting several All Blacks this week to adhere to rest protocols, so expect to see a fresh young team taking the field in Auckland – the first time the Crusaders have played Moana Pasifika at their home ground.
Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Brodie McAlister and Tamaiti Williams make up a new-look front row, while Ioane Moananu, Andrew Turner and Seb Calder sit ready to make an impact off the bench up front.
Scott Barrett continues to lead the team from the middle of the scrum alongside fellow lock Zach Gallagher.
Sioni Talitui slots into blindside with Corey Kellow at openside, while Cullen Grace fits into the No. 8 jersey.
Dominic Gardiner and Christian Lio-Willie lack neither talent nor experience after some decent minutes this season. They’ll be itching to take the field off the bench in Auckland.
The finals picture as it stands!@westernforce enter the fray.— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 16, 2023
How much changes this weekend?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/IGM2Y0tXsO
Young halfback Noah Hotham gets a start this weekend as does Fergus Burke at No. 10. Taha Kemara returns to the bench after a lengthy sideline stay after breaking his hand in Round 3, and Mitchell Drummond will be a steady pair of hands out the back of the ruck when needed.
The sideline cameraman will get a workout keeping up with Macca Springer on the left wing, and Chay Fihaki on the right.
Dallas McLeod is expected to continue his stellar form in the centre this week alongside fan-favourite Jack Goodhue.
Will Jordan resumes duties at fullback this week after a splendid return to play and form in recent weeks. Wil Gualter sits ready and waiting in the 23 jersey.
Moana Pasifika v Crusaders, Friday 19 May, 7.05pm, Go Media Stadium Mt Smart. TICKETS.
First time at Mt Smart! We are on! ✊🏼— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) May 17, 2023
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