Whitelock, Crotty return For Bulls Clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: All Blacks duo Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty will be returning for the Crusaders when they host the SOuth African side the Bulls on Friday
Friday's 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.
Head Coach Scott Robertson has made five changes to the starting line-up from the side that played the Highlanders in Dunedin last Saturday.
The changes see the return of Captain Sam Whitelock and vice-captain Ryan Crotty from their respective concussions.
Prop Tim Perry also returns to the Crusaders team, having made a successful return from injury for the Crusaders 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; he replaces 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 reserves 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 first five-eighth cover on the bench, while Braydon Ennor could earn his first Super Rugby cap on Friday night if called on in the reserves.
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
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Braydon Ennor,
Date: Friday, March 23
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT, 08.35 South Africa Time)
Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)