Crusaders go with continuity for Cheetahs clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has named an unchanged forward pack from the starting XV that beat the Stormers in Christchurch last weekend for their clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Bryn Hall will start in the No.9 jersey this week, with Mitchell Drummond providing cover on the bench. In the reserves, Andrew Makalio comes on to the bench, to cover Codie Taylor at hooker.
Loose forward Matt Todd will play his 100th Super Rugby game at No.7, having notched up 100 for the Crusaders last week against the Stormers (the extra Crusaders game being Crusaders vs England in 2014).
Robertson said he had no doubt that Todd would give his all on Saturday, because that is what he does every time he plays:
"Matt is an absolute workhorse who gives full energy and commitment every time he takes the field – it wouldn't matter if it was his first game or his 100th. We loved celebrating his Crusaders milestone with him last week and it will be special to see him notch up the tonne again this week in respect to Super Rugby games."
Todd's milestone will be marked by NZ Rugby with a presentation at the Crusaders' next home game against the Hurricanes on May 13.
Crusaders: 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 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.
Date: Saturday, April 29
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 03.15 NZ Time Sunday, April 30)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)