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    Whitelock returns to lead Crusaders

    2019-03-14 07:55

    Christchurch -  Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has named his side for Saturday's Super Rugby derby against the Highlanders.

    The Crusaders team for the clash in Dunedin includes the return of four All Blacks.

    Owen Franks, Matt Todd and George Bridge all return from rest weeks, while Sam Whitelock will captain the side for the first time in 2019, returning to partner Scott Barrett at lock.

    It's a new starting front row for the Crusaders this week, with George Bower, fresh from his debut against the Chiefs, set to earn his first Super Rugby start. The hookers will swap for this game with Codie Taylor to wear the No 2 jersey and Andrew Makalio moving to the bench, while Franks' return sees Michael Alaalatoa shift to the bench.

    It will be Owen Franks' 150th game for the Crusaders (149th Super Rugby game) and he will lead the side out on to Forsyth Barr Stadium to mark the occasion.

    The return of Todd is the only change to the loose forward trio this week.

    In the backline, the halfbacks swap this weekend, with Bryn Hall wearing the No 9 jersey and Ereatara Enari providing cover on the bench. George Bridge's return sees Braydon Ennor shift to the right wing, and David Havili will start at fullback, in place of Will Jordan.

    Saturday’s clash in Dunedin is scheduled for 08:35 (SA time).

    Teams:

    Highlanders

    15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Sio Tomkinson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Richard Buckman, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Josh Dickson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Dillon Hunt, 22 Folau Fakatava, 23 Marty Banks

    Crusaders

    15 David Havili, 14 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

    Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Ere Enari, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Will Jordan

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 23 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney Cricket Ground 10:45
    • Sunwolves v Lions, Singapore National Stadium 12:55
    • Bulls v Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Sharks v Rebels, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Sunday, 24 March 2019
    • Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium 07:05
    Friday, 29 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Sunwolves, McDonald Jones Stadium 10:45

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