All Blacks skipper passed fit to face Sharks
Cape Town - Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has named his team for Saturday’s Super Rugby quarter-final against the Sharks in Christchurch.
Robertson made three changes up front and two in the backline from the side that defeated the Blues 54-17 last week.
All Blacks front-rowers Codie Taylor and Owen Franks return to the starting line-up at hooker and tighthead respectively, meaning Andrew Makalio and Michael Alaalatoa move to the bench.
Scott Barrett also returns from a rest week to resume his role at lock, and Luke Romano will once again provide cover on the bench. The loose forward trio of Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd and Kieran Read remains unchanged this week, with Read having recovered from the wrist/thumb injury he sustained against the Blues.
Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond will again switch for this game, so that Hall takes the starting spot at scrumhalf and Drummond moves to the bench. The only other change sees David Havili re-join the squad at fullback in place of Israel Dagg.
Inside centre Ryan Crotty, who hurt his thumb against the Blues, has also been locked in to start which guarantees Robertson a quota of 12 All Blacks in his starting XV.
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele