Crusaders reshuffle for Jaguares
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Crusaders will look to make a statement when they face the Jaguares in week eight of Super Rugby.
Coach Scott Robertson has made several changes as his side prepare for their first-ever match in Argentina.
In the forward pack, All Blacks lock Luke Romano joins Sam Whitelock in the starting lineup and Tom Sanders claims the No.6 jersey. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis moves to No.8 in place of Jordan Taufua.
In the backline, Tim Bateman will start at centre in place of Jack Goodhue, who has returned home to New Zealand after suffering a hamstring injury last weekend.
Manasa Mataele earns a spot on the right wing after a string of strong performances.
On the bench, Otago prop Donald Brighouse replaces the injured Oliver Jager and Pete Samu return from injury to join the bench as loose forward cover.
The clash against the Jaguares will be Samu’s third appearance of the season after battling a shoulder injury sustained in week two.
Former New Zealand Under-20 wing Braydon Ennor will join Mitchell Drummond and Mike Delany as backs cover.
The Crusaders will have a bye next week before taking on the Sunwolves at AMI Stadium in week 10.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Donald Brighouse, 18 Chris King, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Braydon Ennor.
Date: Saturday, April 7
Venue: Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18.40 (21.40 GMT; 08.40, Sunday, April 8 NZ time)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Pablo Deluca (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)