Crusaders lose Todd ahead of Stormers clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders have lost All Black loose forward Matt Todd to injury ahead of their clash against the Stormers in Christchurch on Saturday.
Todd broke his thumb in his side's win over the Chiefs last weekend and he will be out of action for up to six weeks.
Todd's absence will see loose forward Billy Harmon earn his first start in the No. 7 jersey for the Crusaders for Saturday's clash.
The other change to the forward pack sees lock Luke Romano taking a spot on the bench and All Blacks teammate Scott Barrett coming into the second row to partner Samuel Whitelock.
The Crusaders will celebrate Romano's 100th Super Rugby game on Saturday.
The backline is unchanged from the side that beat the Chiefs last weekend.
Romano, who made his debut for the Crusaders back in 2011, is now the team's 18th Super Rugby centurion. Head coach Scott Robertson said his Crusaders teammates were determined to celebrate the milestone with a good performance on Saturday.
"Luke is a valued member of our team and has given his all every time he's taken the field for the Crusaders over the past seven seasons. He had an immense 2017 campaign and was an important part of our success, so I know the boys will want to put a performance befitting this milestone on the field come Saturday.
"100 Super Rugby games is a real testament to Luke's character; he's not only an uncompromising competitor, but is also a loyal Crusaders man and a great leader. It's a special milestone and one we look forward to celebrating with Luke and his family," Robertson said.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Chris King, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.
Date: Saturday, March 3
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT; 08.35 SA Time)
Referee: Nicholas Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Additional source: Radio New Zealand