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    Whitelock, Crotty return to battle Bulls

    2018-03-21 08:43

    Cape Town - Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has made five changes to his starting line-up to take on the Bulls in Christchurch on Friday.

    Kick-off is at 08:35 SA time.

    The side has been boosted by the return of captain Sam Whitelock and vice-captain Ryan Crotty from their respective concussions with Whitelock coming in for Luke Romano in the second row and Crotty replacing Tim Bateman at inside centre. 

    Prop Tim Perry also returns to the run-on side, having made a successful return from injury for the Crusaders Knights in recent weeks. Perry will start, and Wyatt Crockett takes a spot on the bench. 

    Flank Billy Harmon will earn his second start for the Crusaders on Friday night - he replaces vice-captain Matt Todd, who took a knock to the ribs and will be rested this week. The only other change to the backline sees Manasa Mataele start on the right wing in place of Seta Tamanivalu. 

    On the replacements bench, Quinten Strange will wear the No 19 jersey this week, and Tom Sanders returns in jersey No 20 having successfully recovered from the fractured ankle he sustained during the pre-season. 

    Brett Cameron will again provide flyhalf cover on the bench, while Braydon Ennor could earn his first Super Rugby cap on Friday night if called on in the reserves.

    This match will be their last game in Christchurch for three weeks, as the team are due to fly out for the South African and Argentinian leg of their Super Rugby campaign on Monday.

    Teams:

    Crusaders

    15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor 1 Tim Perry 

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Braydon Ennor

    Bulls

    15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman

    Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze

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